Creepy Cannibals: Bones Show Ancient Britons Ate the Dead, Used Skulls as Cups
2011-02-21 0:00

By Madeleine Cowley | Reuters.com


Ancient Britons devoured their dead and created gruesome goblets from the skulls of their remains, according to new research published on Wednesday.

Researchers from London’s Natural History Museum discovered 15,000-year-old human bones in southern England which showed signs of cannibalism and skulls made into drinking cups.

The skulls -- found in Gough’s Cave in the Cheddar Gorge in the southwestern English county of Somerset -- had been meticulously cleaned of soft tissue, cut to remove the base and facial bones, and had their rough edges smoothed to create skull-cups or bowls, paleontologist Silvia Bello wrote in a study in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS ONE.

"All in all it was a very painstaking process given the tools available," Bello said in a statement.

The researchers said the cups may have been used as containers or for some ritualistic purpose.


Ancient Britons devoured their dead and created gruesome goblets from the skulls of their remains, according to new research.


Images: REUTERS/ Natural History Museum Media Team/Handout


"It’s impossible to know how the skull-cups were used back then, but in recent examples they may hold blood, wine or food during rituals," said Chris Stringer, who helped excavate one of the skull-cups in 1987.

At about 14,700 years old, the skull-cups from Gough’s Cave are the oldest directly dated examples in the world, the researchers said.

They said the circumstances behind the deaths of the Cro-Magnons (European early modern humans), whose bones they discovered, can only be guessed at.

They may have been killed, butchered and eaten -- with the skull-cups just the end of this event -- or may have been part of the group who died and were eaten in a crisis situation, with the skull-cups created as a tribute to the dead.

"We simply do not know," they said in a joint emailed response to questions.

The use of skulls as drinking vessels has been well-documented in historical accounts and recent ethnographic studies, the researchers explained in their study.

Ancient Greek historian Herodotus portrayed the Scythians as people who drank from the skulls of their enemies and similar practices have been recorded among Vikings, Australian Aborigines and in tantric Buddhist rituals.

A precise cast of one of the skull-cups, complete with cut marks, will go on display in the Natural History Museum in London from March 1 for three months.

Article from: reuters.com



Related Articles
Cannibal Restaurant Has Berliners Disgusted: Looking for Body Part Donors
Neanderthals May Have Turned to Cannibalism in Attempt to Survive


Latest News from our Front Page

Facebook To Censor & Remove Users For Anti-Obama Posts
2016-02-05 21:06
Facebook is submitting to Obama in a truly sickening way this week as they announce a new policy regarding dialogue that involves “hate speech” and “xenophobia” on European profiles in reference to the Muslim refugee crisis. According to World Daily Online, Facebook executives have created the “Initiative for Civil Courage Online” in Berlin, and it pledges to help non-governmental in counteracting “racist and ...
Cologne Carnival: 2 Rapefugees Arrested
2016-02-05 21:35
Two rapefugees—a Nigerian and an Afghani—have been arrested in two separate sex-attack rape incidents in Germany during the first day of the North West Rhine’s (NRW) famous street carnivals, police have admitted. According to the Focus news service, “Police have arrested an immigrant from Africa,” after a 24-year-old woman was raped at the street carnival in the NRW city of Gütersloh. The ...
Hungarian Woman Speaks Out Against the Betrayal of European Women and is Called a ‘Racist’
2016-02-05 5:59
According to the Women’s rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) Committee of the European Parliament it is only racism that may lead someone who sees any problem in the mass violence committed against women in Europe by migrant men. Every day there are instances of European women being subjected to sexual abuses, insults, violent actions that force the European women to ...
US Border agent: 'We might as well abolish our immigration laws altogether'
2016-02-04 23:30
In a shocking reversal of policy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents are being told to release illegal immigrants and no longer order them to appear at deportation hearings, essentially a license to stay in the United States, a key agent testified Thursday. What's more, the stand down order includes a requirement that the whereabouts of illegals released are not to ...
This Country Will Be The First Islamic Nation In Europe, Muslims Claim
2016-02-04 22:56
Daily headlines prove that Europe is bursting at the seams with Islamists attempting to establish Sharia law and homegrown terror plots. France is ablaze with radicals, ISIS threatens they will send Spain back to the times of the Ottoman Empire, and Britain is much too concerned with appeasing Muslims that they are doing away with their own citizens’ free speech. The ...
More News »