New research carried out in El Sidron in Asturias has smashed the stereotype that our early cousins were strictly carnivores.
Scientists scraped off the plaque stuck on the teeth of two Neanderthals’ remains, which had preserved the DNA of microorganisms living in the mouth, windpipe and stomach, as well as bits of food stuck between their teeth.
Director of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA in Adelaide said: “Those from El Sidron Cave showed no evidence for meat consumption, but appeared instead to have a largely vegetarian diet comprising pine nuts, moss, mushrooms and tree bark.”
The specimens were a female adult and a teenage male, whose jawbone showed signs of an abscess.
The plaque in his teeth revealed that he had been taking extracts from poplar trees, which are today a main ingredient in Aspirin.
There was also residue from mold that contained an early version of the antibiotic penicillin.
“Neanderthals possessed a good knowledge of medicinal plants and their various anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, and seem to have been self-medicating,” Cooper said.
“Certainly, our findings contrast markedly with the rather simplistic view of our ancient relatives in popular imagination,” he added.
- ‘DRUG HILLS’: British expats in upmarket urbanisation on Spain’s Costa del Sol wake up to ‘disgraceful’ graffiti - 20 Mar, 2019 @ 11:47
- Westley Capper arrives at Malaga court on last day of Agnese Klavina trial after damning CCTV footage shown to court - 20 Mar, 2019 @ 11:20
- Dead body dumped on Spain’s Costa del Sol was of young foreigner, 23, and had at least 10 gunshot wounds - 19 Mar, 2019 @ 10:59
- Guardia Civil cop who killed three people after causing pile up on Costa del Sol while driving on cocaine ordered to pay €1.4 million in compensation - 18 Mar, 2019 @ 16:52
- SACRE BLOW! French smuggling gang which moved cocaine and hashish between Morocco, Malaga and Europe busted in joint operation - 18 Mar, 2019 @ 16:12
- Residents feel shaking as FOUR earthquakes rock Malaga - 18 Mar, 2019 @ 15:33
- Rain and cold wind forecast for Spain’s Malaga this week - 18 Mar, 2019 @ 15:16
- WATCH: Manhunt launched after pharmacy robbed at GUNPOINT on Spain’s Costa del Sol - 18 Mar, 2019 @ 12:45
- Dead body found dumped with ‘several gunshot wounds’ on Spain’s Costa del Sol - 18 Mar, 2019 @ 12:31
- British expats facing 12 years in prison and €84,000 in compensation costs as trial over missing Agnese Klavina begins in Malaga TODAY - 18 Mar, 2019 @ 11:22