The Hominins from the Cradle of Humankind consumed meat over a million years ago

Scientists have studied more than two tens of thousands of fossilized animal bones found in the South African Coopers Caves, and found on some of the bones traces of stone tools. According to the Journal of Human Evolution, this indicates that ancient hominins living in the Cradle of Humanity consumed animal meat about 1.4 – 1 million years ago.

South Africa has a UNESCO World Heritage Site – the Cradle of Humanity. This is a complex of caves, which includes the Coopers Caves, discovered in 1938. Here, scientists have found several hominin fossils – in particular, the fossilized bones of paranthropes that lived about 1.4 – 1 million years ago.

A new study led by Raphael Hanon at the University of the Witwatersrand analyzed 21,200 fossilized bone fragments of animal origin. The analysis showed that some of the fossils preserved traces of processing, which was carried out using stone tools – cuts and traces of blows.

Scientists are so far cautious with their conclusions, and do not claim with 100% certainty that the marks on the bones were left by the ancient ancestors of people, but everything points to exactly this. The Hominins in the Cradle of Humanity appear to have consumed animal flesh at least one million years ago.

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