Cannibalistic roots


A cave painting in Alicante

ARCHAEOLOGISTS from Valencia University (UV) have found proof that the Marina Alta’s prehistoric inhabitants occasionally ate human flesh.

The experts confirmed in the US publication, Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, that they had found “evidence of cannibal behaviour amongst groups of hunter-gatherer groups in the western Mediterranean during the Mesolithic era.”

Thirty human bones at least 11,000 years old discovered in Coves de Santa Maira in Castell de Castells showed signs of “human manipulation,” the investigators said.

The UV investigators did not rule out that the Castell de Castells practices were the result of “periodic food stress” and exceptional, the director of the excavations, J Emili Aura, acknowledged.

But he also suggested that they could have been social in origin and the result of episodes of individual or group violence or even rituals.

This was the second time that prehistoric cannibalism has been discovered in the Marina Alta following similar finds in Cova del Comte de Pedreguer, which was first inhabited by humans 25,000 years ago.

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