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by Archaeology Newsroom

Cannibalism and archaeology

Were the man-eating customs of the Scyths a fiction of Herodotus’ s imagination ? Cannibalism (from the word Carib or Caribal as the Indians of the Caribbean were known as), appealed to the imagination of explorers of the 15th century. Two reasons could be given to explain cannibalism in prehistoric times, the one nutritional and the other religious. Archaeological remains are too scarce to prove such practices. What’s more it is difficult for modern man to condone such goings on of his ancestors. However it has been proven by biologists that man and chimpanzees are closely related. Therefore the cannibalism practiced by apes in the National Park of Tanzania, offers proof of similar behaviour in the first human communities.