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View Diary: Ancient Europe: Cannibalism in England (152 comments)

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  •  Wow, very strong evidence indeed. (12+ / 0-)
    During or after the sudden abandonment of the site,
    disarticulated, defleshed and heat-altered human remains were left
    in non-burial contexts in association with butchering tools with
    human blood residue, a cooking vessel with human myoglobin
    residue and a human coprolite containing human myoglobin. These
    data demonstrate that humans both processed and consumed
    human flesh at the site.

    Cannibalism has occurred in a wide range of societies for a
    wide variety of reasons, including starvation, ancestor worship
    and political terrorism. With the presentation of the first
    direct evidence of cannibalism in the American Southwest in the
    prehistoric era, we hope that the debate will shift from the
    question of whether or not cannibalism occurred to questions
    concerning the social context, causes and consequences of these
    events.

    A careful and well-controlled study, and a bombshell of a find.  Though the authors are careful not to commit themselves, it is clear that they find the placement of coprolite within the cold ashes of the dwelling's hearth significant -- in the sense of an insult to the hearth as the center of the home.   Nobody consuming ordinary sustenance will shit where they live.  So my money's on the "political terroris" context.  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 09:53:21 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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