Neanderthals were foodies, Cultural History Reveals

By Andrea Cooper

25 November 2022

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It will always be fun delving into history! Unlike the common assumption that Neanderthals were raw meat eaters, we have got some news!

One of the oldest food remnants has been found in Iraq. The Eurasians who are the archaic humans lived in the caves. Now the oldest ever burned food remnants calculated to be about 70,000 years old are discovered. These remnants reveal that the people were fond of cooking. According to Chris Hunt, a professor of cultural paleoecology “Our findings are the first real indication of complex cooking – and thus of food culture – among Neanderthals.” 

Hunt and his colleagues even tried to make the recipe using seeds found from the site and they deduced “It made a sort of pancake-cum-flatbread which was really very palatable – a sort of nutty taste."

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There was another study of food remnants found in the caves of Southern Greece and together the study of both food items led to a conclusion.

 Dr. Ceren Kabukcu, an archaeobotanist shared the final results,

“We present evidence for the first time of soaking and pounding pulse seeds by both Neanderthals and early modern humans (Homo sapiens) at both sites, and during both phases at Shanidar Cave.” 

“We also find evidence of ‘mixtures’ of seeds included in food items and argue that there were some unique preferences for specific plant flavors.” Shared Dr. Kabukcu.

The research also unravels that both early modern humans and Neanderthals had a diverse diet of plants, fruits, seeds, and meat.

And since they did not have a pounding solution available the state of their teeth reveals that eating raw lentils and seeds degraded their oral health much faster!