By James Bryce
NEANDERTHAL cavemen living on the Costa del Sol were snacking on shellfish 100,000 years earlier than previously thought, a new study has found.
Scientists made the discovery after examining stone tools and the remains of shells in Bajondillo cave near Torremolinos.
They were able to date the shells to as far back as 150,000 years ago, using radiocarbon testing.
According to researchers, that is ‘almost contemporaneous’ to the earliest evidence of modern humans eating shellfish in South Africa 164,000 years ago.
“Many researchers argue that eating shellfish is one of the behaviours that define modern humans and to a certain extent an adaptive advantage that allowed homo sapiens to expand,” said Francisco Jimenez Espejo, researcher at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).
“But this investigation shows that at the same time as homo sapiens in southern Africa, homo neanderthalensis in the southern Iberian peninsula used the same resources.”