timothy from the subsumed-or-consumed dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The Guardian reports that a Neanderthal jawbone covered in cut marks similar to those left behind when flesh is stripped from deer provides crucial evidence that humans attacked Neanderthals, and sometimes killed them, bringing back their bodies to caves to eat or to use their skulls or teeth as trophies. 'For years, people have tried to hide away from the evidence of cannibalism, but I think we have to accept it took place,' says Fernando Rozzi, of Paris's Centre National de la Récherche Scientifique. According to Rozzi, a discovery at Les Rois in south-west France provides compelling support for that argument. Previous excavations revealed bones that were thought to be exclusively human. But Rozzi's team re-examined them and found one they concluded was Neanderthal." (Continued, below.)
"Importantly, it was covered in cut marks similar to those left behind when flesh is stripped using stone tools. Not every team member agrees. 'One set of cut marks does not make a complete case for cannibalism,' says Francesco d'Errico, of the Institute of Prehistory in Bordeaux. It was also possible that the jawbone had been found by humans and its teeth used to make a necklace, he said. 'This is a very important investigation,' said Professor Chris Stringer, of the Natural History Museum, London. 'This does not prove we systematically eradicated the Neanderthals or that we regularly ate their flesh. But it does add to the evidence that competition from modern humans probably contributed to Neanderthal extinction.'"
Quantum Mechanics is a lovely introduction to Hilbert Spaces!
-- Overheard at last year's Archimedeans' Garden Party