Creepy Cannibals: Bones Show Ancient Britons Ate the Dead, Used Skulls as Cups
2011 02 21
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
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
Breaking—CDC whistleblower: “I’ve stopped lying”
2014 09 18
What more could anyone want in the way of evidence for an ongoing crime?
There is a video posted at the autism media channel/YouTube, and at Age of Autism: “William Thompson’s call to Congress.”
It is a recording of a telephone call between CDC whistleblower Thompson and Brian Hooker, PhD. No date is given.
Presumably, the call was recorded before August 27, when ...
Ebola patients buying survivors’ blood from black market, WHO warns
2014 09 18
As hospitals in nations hardest hit by Ebola struggle to keep up, desperate patients are turning to the black market to buy blood from survivors of the virus, the World Health Organization warned.
The deadliest Ebola outbreak in history has killed at least 2,400 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone -- the countries most affected by the virus.
Thousands more are ...
Scottish independence referendum LIVE UPDATES
2014 09 18
Scottish voters go to the polls on Thursday to choose whether or not to break away from the UK and form an independent state. The ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ campaigns have been neck-and-neck in the pre-ballot polls.
Both sides in the referendum debate are making their final pitch to voters. It comes as three new polls show the result remains too close ...
Exponential growth of Ashkenazi Jews following a Medieval population bottleneck
2014 09 17
A recent paper by Marta Costa et al. found that around 80% of Ashkenazi mitochondrial DNA had a prehistoric European origin (and ruled out the Khazar hypothesis). Combined with previous Y chromosome studies indicating that the male line is Middle Eastern, the results suggested a scenario in which Jewish males married European females after traveling to Europe.
Now another paper, ...
Bankers Rule: City of London vs. Scottish Independence
2014 09 17
Now that the independence referendum is too close to call, the bankers express their worry. The media blitz ramps up to tip the outcome. Scottish independence has finally rattled the City of London has the usual banksters forecasting the dislocations from a currency panic.
Scotland has a long and noteworthy history of banking. Money, savings and investing is entrenched in the ...
|More News » |