There is still a lot about the history of man that is still unknown. Research of Neanderthal bones found in Belgium reveals that they might have been cannibals.
Cannibalism is a taboo subject that still exists in our world. There are still a few secretive jungle tribes that practice cannibalism, usually for religious reasons. We also see fictitious versions of it in television and movies. I.e. Green Inferno, Hannibal, Silence of the Lambs, and Sweeney Todd.
What we really don’t think of is that we depended from cannibals. We only think that uncivilized or evil people practice cannibalism. That doesn’t seem like the case.
The bones that were found in Belgium date back between 40,500 and 45,500 years old. They show signs of cannibalism. The bones have “indentations” where scientists think that they were hammered open to get the marrow within. The bones show marks that seemed to be created by primitive knives. The rib cages seem to be pried open as well.
Cannibalized Neanderthals are actually not a new discovery but it is to Belgium. These discoveries were found in Spain, Portugal, and France. This does rise more questions that answers. Previously, scientists found that Neanderthals have practiced burial rituals and funerals so why were those people just treated like dinner?
Honestly, scientists don’t know. They don’t want to jump to any conclusions because they don’t have all the facts. No other Neanderthal excavation site, in that area, shows any signs of cannibalism.
Some speculate that they lived in small groups or tribes, so behaviors change from group to group. Some may treat their dead with respect and go through a burial ritual where as others eat others as food. The also speculate that the cannibalistic Neanderthal may have hunted others like food since the bones they found were just thrown with other animal bones.
To play Devil’s Advocate, other scientists say that it could be a fluke. The single group of Neanderthal cannibals could have had no other choice to eat others. It could have been a last resort for them and not a common practice at all.
Maybe we should get Temperance Brennan to solve the case. She did figure out the case about the mixed Neanderthal and Homo Sapien family.