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Early humans, ritual cannibals: Study

Archaeologists have found 32,000-year-old human remains in southeastern Europe, which suggest that the earliest humans practiced “mortuary” or “ritual” cannibalism. 

Cut marks on an early human bone found at the shelter-cave site, Buran-Kaya III, in Ukraine
The excavated human remains, the oldest known in Europe, were found at a shelter-cave site called Buran-Kaya III in Ukraine and exhibit post-mortem cut marks, the MSNBC reports. 

"Our observations show a post-mortem treatment of human corpses including the selection of the skull," said the paleozoologist and archaeologist at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, Stephane Pean. 

However, Pean said that the treatment of the human bodies, which came with ornaments, did not follow nutritional purposes, rejecting the possibility of dietary cannibalism. 

"Observed treatment of the human body, together with the presence of body ornaments, indicates rather a mortuary ritual: either a ritual cannibalism or a specific mortuary practice for secondary disposal," he described. 

The experts also excavated valuable artifacts at the site in Ukraine consisting of five mammoth beads, one engraved plate made out of mammoth ivory and 35 perforated shells.  

Source: Press TV [July 11, 2011]

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