Apr 2, 2009 | 7
CHICAGO—Scientists have long argued that Neandertal remains from the site of Krapina in northern Croatia exhibit evidence of cannibalism. The fragmentary nature of the bones, along with cut marks on a number of fragments, were said to be signs that our closest relatives feasted on one another. But a new study suggests that the nicks seem to be the result of much more recent handiwork.
Paleoanthropologist and archaeologist Jörg Orschiedt of the University of Hamburg in Germany reported yesterday at the annual meeting of the Paleoanthropology Society here that cut marks in the Krapina fossils he studied are randomly distributed and did not necessarily occur in spots that would permit de-fleshing (such as where muscles attach to bones). What's more, the scratches varied – some were shallow and others deep.
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