10 Jul, 2014 @ 17:19
1 min read

Neanderthal poo discovered in Alicante


THE world’s oldest poo has been found in Spain.

Archaeologists have discovered the 50,000-year-old deposit at a Neanderthal campsite in Alicante.

Analysis of the ancient excrement has revealed surprising secrets about what our ancestors ate – and they may not be the carnivores we previously believed.

Until now, natural science has only had indirect evidence of the Neanderthal diet, through studies of their teeth and of plants and animals that existed at the time, which all suggested they only ate meat. But the latest chemical tests show that they also enjoyed a healthy serving of veg.

Even more bizarre, the pile of poop was found on top of an ancient campfire.

“I thought they were cooking in there, so I was looking for lipids from cooking,” said research leader Ainara Sistiaga, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Instead, analysis revealed traces of an activity that doesn’t usually take place atop a blazing fire, but I don’t think they were using the site as a toilet when the fire was active!”


Tom Powell

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