Engraved Bones Reveal Cannibal Rituals 15,000 Years Ago

Arm bone at cave site had been carved with a zigzag pattern before being broken open to get at the marrow.
One of the skulls found in Gough's Cave.
Skull_of_Gough's_Cave Source: José-Manuel Benito Alvarez

Archaeologists have long known about our cannibalistic past, but why humans who lived thousands of years ago ate each other has been unclear. Now, a human bone engraved 15,000 years ago has fleshed out a long-incomplete picture about this ancient practice. providing clear evidence that some Paleolithic humans engaged in cannibalism for ritual purposes. 

After filleting and consuming dead bodies, these groups stopped to inscribe a design on the bones before sucking out the marrow, and then using the skulls as cups. In

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

Related Interests

More from Newsweek

Newsweek2 min read
How Superheroes Cope With Saving The World
“You can’t live a life of violence and not feel the violence deep in your heart and your soul.”
Newsweek3 min readSociety
Jill Soloway Reflects on 'Transparent' in New Memoir
In "She Wants It," Soloway tells the story of the hit Amazon show—from the beginning to its messy end.
Newsweek4 min readSociety
Journalist's Fearless Investigation of Mexico Massacre
Journalist Anabel Hernández has been investigating collusion between government officials and drug cartels, as well as the illicit drug trade and abuse of power, for Mexico’s biggest publications for more than two decades.