Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


2 December 2010

Researchers Dispute Report on Early Butchers

Sindya N. Bhanoo, New York Times, 15/11/2010

A report in August that the early ancestors of humans used stone tools to butcher meat at least 3.4 million years ago is being challenged by other researchers, who say that the study misinterpreted cut marks in animal bones.

“They look like cut marks made from stone tools, but they are not,” said Manuel Domínquez-Rodrigo, an archaeologist at the Complutense University of Madrid in Spain and one of the authors of the new report, published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “They look very different when you look at them microscopically.” Microscopic analysis and comparisons with other bones revealed that the markings were more likely scratches caused by animals trampling across the bones, he said.

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