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Engraving in Human Bones Have Links to a Cannibalistic Ritual

Human bones from Gough’s Cave have been found with strange zig-zag cuts. These are found in human radius and indicated intentional engraving. A new study defined links of engraving in human bones to a cannibalistic ritual during Paleolithic Period. The study was published on August 9, 2017 in the journal PLOS ONE which has an open access.

The study was done by Silvia Bello from The Natural History Museum, UK and colleagues. The cuts and damage on human bones are frequently found at Magdalenian (about 12 to 17,000 years BP) European sites. One of the large collections can be found at Gough’s Cave in Somerset, UK. The earlier analysis of these bones from the site found hints of human cannibalism. Debates are still conducted by paleontologists to know whether some of the cuts were intentionally engraved or was a result of butchery.

The recent study was done on a right human radius which was excavated at Gough’s Cave in 1987. The bone had got cut marks, percussion damage and human tooth marks and unusual zig-zag cuts.

By: Bhavna Sharma


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