Scientist find 400,000-year-old evidence that early humans stored bone marrow to eat at a later time

Mail Online | 10/11/2019 | Stacy Liberatore For
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Scientists have unearthed evidence revealing our early ancestors planned their meals ahead of time for when food was scarce.

Remnants of bone marrow were discovered at Qesem Cave near Tel Aviv that are some 400,000 years old, suggesting the ancient dwellers stored and delayed consumption of food.

Findings - People - Bones - Weeks

The findings have also determined that early Paleolithic people saved animal bones for up to nine weeks before feasting on them.

The study into the ancient bone marrow was led by Dr. Ruth Blasco of TAU's Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations and Centro Nacional de Investigación Sobre la Evolución Humana (CENIEH).

TAU - Colleagues - Professors - Ran - Barkai

Along with her TAU colleagues professors Ran Barkai and Avi Gopher.

'Bone marrow constitutes a significant source of nutrition and as such was long featured in the prehistoric diet,' explained Barkai.

Evidence - Consumption - Marrow - Procurement - Removal

'Until now, evidence has pointed to immediate consumption of marrow following the procurement and removal of soft tissues. In our paper, we present evidence of storage and delayed consumption of bone marrow at Qesem Cave.'

'This is the earliest evidence of such behavior and offers insight into the socioeconomics of the humans who lived at Qesem.

'It - Threshold - Modes - Paleolithic - Adaptation

'It also marks a threshold for new modes of Paleolithic human adaptation.'

The researchers continued to explain that these early humans enjoyed feasting on fallow deer.

Animal - Meat - Fat - Dwellers - Limbs

After stripping the dead animal of its meat and fat, these cave dwellers brought the limbs and skull inside,which were stored away for later.

The team found deer leg bones, specifically the metapodials, with chopping marks on the, 'which are not characteristic of the marks left from stripping fresh skin to fracture the bone and extract the marrow,' the researchers explained.

Deer - Skin - Marrow

It is suggested that the deer were covered in skin to keep the marrow preserved.

The researchers evaluated the preservation of bone marrow using an experimental series on deer, controlling exposure time and environmental...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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