General, Research, Technology

What did people eat 100 thousand years ago?

About 100 thousand years ago in the territoryNeanderthals lived in modern Europe and Central Asia. Some scholars consider them to be our distant (but not direct) ancestors and are constantly trying to figure out how their every day went. At the moment, it is known that in those days, ancient people basically just tried to survive - they looked for caves suitable for habitation, made spears and hunted animals. If much is already known about the homes of Neanderthals and the methods of their hunting, then their diet is still poorly understood. Judging by the found remains, they often ate meat of large animals, but recently scientists have found that they also ate fish. But how did they catch her and how did a varied food influence them?

People who lived 100 thousand years ago were given the name “Neanderthals” because one of their first skulls was found in 1856 in the Neanderthal gorge (Germany)

Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) - extinct representativeskind of people who lived about 100 thousand years ago. In growth they were lower than us and had broad shoulders, and their life expectancy was about 20 years. Neanderthals are not the direct ancestors of man, because between us clearly there was another species of ancient people, which has not yet been discovered.

Neanderthal life

Judging by the remains found by scientists, hundreds of thousandsyears ago, Neanderthals lived in caves located in Italy, Portugal and other nearby countries. Their homes were divided into three zones. The first was a kind of kitchen in which the meat of slaughtered animals was cut and eaten. There was a bonfire in the second zone - apparently, ancient people rested and slept there. The third zone was a workshop in which wooden spears with stone tips, axes and other tools they needed in life were made.

Interesting fact: when Neanderthals could not find suitable forlife of the cave, they could build shelters from the bones and skins of mammoths. And they often had to search for housing, because they were constantly moving from one place to another.

The hunt of ancient people

Since ancient people had spears and axes, theythey could well hunt bulls, rhinos, mammoths, and even predatory lions and hyenas. However, since ancient people killed animals in close combat, they received serious injuries and even died. Their hunting areas were open fields, as well as impassable forests and mountains. Sometimes the ancient people were lucky - they killed animals that ended up in holes and swamps. Their victims could not cause them special harm and people had only to death to plug their bodies with spears until death.

Hunting Neanderthals through the eyes of the artist

Food of ancient people

Neanderthals were very reasonable, thereforethey were able to "cut human meat" humanly. First of all, using sharpened stones, they cut the skin of the killed animal - they made warm clothes from it. Then, using stone knives, the meat was cut into several parts so that it was more convenient to eat. The meat was eaten either raw or fried, and in most cases was eaten in a couple of sittings, because ancient people did not know how to store it fresh.

This is what the stone tools of Neanderthals looked like

Previously, scientists doubted this, but recentlytime there was much evidence that Neanderthals also ate seafood like fish, shellfish and crab. This, at least, is evidenced by an archaeological find on one of the coasts of Portugal. There, scientists managed to find many bones of various animals, among which were the remains of mollusk shells. Since this pile of “garbage” was formed 86-106 thousand years ago, scientists have suggested that it was abandoned by Neanderthals.

These "piles of garbage" left by Neanderthals have a name - kiekkenmedings. They are usually found near water bodies and are hills several meters high. In these heaps, scientists often find the bones of boars, deer, and even fish.

After examining the remains, researchers led byarchaeologist Juan Zillan found out that ancient people ate fish, sea birds and even pine nuts. According to the scientific publication ScienceAlert, seafood accounted for almost half the diet of Neanderthals, that is, they ate almost the same way as we did. At least, this assumption is relevant in relation to Neanderthals living in the territory of modern Portugal.

In addition to meat and seafood, Neanderthals also ate plants.

The fact that Neanderthals could fishscientists have guessed for a long time. Back in 1949, scientists studied the Italian cave of Moserini and found in it at least 167 shells with sharpened edges. Among them were shells with smooth surfaces, so the researchers decided that they were mined by ancient people directly from the bottom of the sea. To do this, they supposedly needed to dive to a depth of two to four meters, where they could well catch fish. It may also well be that they used ground spears to catch fish.

About how ancient people swam, I wrote in this material. The results of the study revealed a lot of interesting things about Neanderthals, so I highly recommend reading it!

There is speculation that if Neanderthals did notate seafood, the development of the human race would have taken much longer. Scientists believe that the fatty acids contained in marine food have a positive effect on the brain of ancient people and gradually improved their mental abilities. It turns out that fish and other marine life indirectly affected the speed of human evolution.

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At the moment, it remains to hope that scientistsit will be possible to reveal other interesting facts about the nutrition of our distant ancestors. But it will be quite difficult to do this, because the “garbage heaps” of Neanderthals left near water bodies are very rarely discovered by scientists. It is believed that this is due to the fact that these accumulations of animal bones for thousands of years have simply been washed away into the seas and oceans.