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Study report revisits cave of prehistoric cannibals

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Krystal Coenen
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« on: May 02, 2015, 08:34:26 pm »



Interior portion of Gough's Cave. Rwendland, Wikimedia Commons

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Gough’s cave was discovered in the 1880s and subsequently developed as a show cave. In 1903 the remains of a human male, now popularly known as Cheddar Man, were found within the cave. Those remains constitute Britain’s oldest complete human skeleton, dated to about 7150 BCE.  Some of the sediments of the cave were again excavated between 1986 and 1992. These excavations yielded processed human bones, with extensive evidence of cut and human tooth marks, mixed with an array of butchered large mammal remains along with numerous flint, bone, antler, and ivory artifacts. The human skeletal remains are estimated to have represented from 5 to 7 individuals, including a young 3-year-old child and two adolescents.

The detailed report is currently published in the online edition of the Journal of Human Evolution.

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*Silvia M. Bello, et al., Upper Paleolithic ritualistic cannibalism at Gough's Cave (Somerset, UK): The human remains from head to toe, Journal of Human Evolution, doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2015.02.016

 

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