News of the WeekPaleoanthropology

Neanderthals Were Cannibals, Bones Show

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Science  01 Oct 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5437, pp. 18-19
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5437.18b

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Neanderthals expertly butchered the game they killed, slicing meat and tendons from bone with stone tools and bashing open long bones to get at the fatty marrow inside. Now, on page 128, a French and American team reports that 100,000-year-old Neanderthals at the French cave of Moula-Guercy performed precisely the same kinds of butchery on some of their own kind. Tantalizing hints of cannibalism have been spotted at other Neanderthal sites for decades, but this is far and away the best documented case, say other researchers.