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Thread: Elephant Meat and Bone Marrow

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Elephant Meat and Bone Marrow

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    Quite exciting.

    The marks on the bones show that they'd be split for the marrow. Don't suppose anyone here is surprised -- there are all those historical accounts of people utilizing marrow; so why not in the prehistoric, too? -- but this is the first conclusive evidence:

    Humans that populated the Madrid region 84,000 years ago fed themselves on these prosbocideans' meat and they consumed their bone marrow, according to this new study. Until now, the scientific community doubted that consuming elephant meat was a common practice in that era due to the lack of direct evidence on the bones.
    There have been other hypotheses for marks on bones:

    This is the first time that percussion marks that showed an intentional bone fracture to get to the edible part inside have been documented. These had always been associated with tool manufacturing but in the remains found, this hypothesis was discarded. The tools found in the same area were made of flint and quartzite.
    It's interesting to see the study takes for granted that people were looking for fat:

    Animal fat was highly valued by hunters and gatherers that had a diet rich in meat and low in carbohydrates. When there was little meat, other resources such as bone marrow became a source of lipids.
    I think people working with archaeological remains have grokked this even if the "diet dictocrats" in Nutritional "Science" have a defective understanding of the importance of fats in the diet and their desirability to humans, as shown by the behaviour recorded in the marks on the bone here.

    Here's the link to the press release:

    'Inhabitants of Madrid' ate elephants’ meat and bone marrow 80,000 years ago

    complete with an email address for the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology:

    Contact: SINC Team
    And here's the full journal article: - Journal of Archaeological Science - Elephants and subsistence. Evidence of the human exploitation of extremely large mammal bones from the Middle Palaeolithic site of PRERESA (Madrid, Spain)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Pacific NW
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    Hi Lewis.

    Thanks for posting these articles. I almost always find them interesting.

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