Unleashing Curiosity, Igniting Discovery - The Science Fusion

IN GOUGH’S collapse Cheddar Gorge, south-west England, archaeologists have discovered the stays of at the very least six people. Lots of the bones had been deliberately damaged and the fragments are coated in lower marks, the results of folks utilizing stone instruments to separate them and take away the flesh. What’s extra, 42 per cent of the bone fragments bear human teeth marks. There’s little doubt: the individuals who lived on this cave 14,700 years in the past practised cannibalism.

As we speak, cannibalism is a taboo topic in lots of societies. We see it as aberrant, as is evident in movies reminiscent of The Texas Chain Noticed Bloodbath. We affiliate it with zombies, psychopaths and serial killers just like the fictional Hannibal Lecter. Optimistic tales of cannibals are few and much between. However maybe it’s time for a rethink as a result of, regardless of our preconceptions, proof is accumulating that cannibalism was a standard human behaviour.

Our ancestors have been consuming one another for one million years or extra. In actual fact, it appears that evidently, down the ages, round a fifth of societies have practised cannibalism. Whereas a few of this people-eating could have been carried out merely to outlive, in lots of circumstances, the explanations look extra complicated. In locations like Gough’s cave, for instance, consuming the our bodies of the lifeless appears to have been a part of a funerary ritual. Removed from a monstrous affront to nature, cannibalism could also be a manner of exhibiting respect and love for the lifeless, say some archaeologists.

Tales of cannibals will be discovered all through human historical past. In Homer’s Odyssey,…

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