Prehistoric Britons could have been cannibals [Includes picture]
EARLY Britons could have been cannibals, research released today has revealed.
A human arm bone from a prehistoric cave in Devon was found to have seven cut marks made by a stone tool and had been fractured.
Scientists believe the marks on the 9,000-year-old bone show flesh was removed from it, or that dismemberment took place shortly after death.
Dr Rick Schulting, of the School of Archaeology at Oxford University, said: “There are cut marks, and it seems the bone has been intentionally split.
“These two together can raise the possibility of cannibalism.”
Dr Schulting added cannibalism was just one possibility, and that the markings could also have been part of a ritualistic burial process.
The bone from Kent’s Cavern was first discovered by archaeologist and geologist William Pengelly in the 19th century.
The museum said only one other site in Britain had yielded similar human remains with cut marks of this age – Gough’s Cave at Cheddar Gorge.
“Some archaeologists have interpreted these marks as evidence of cannibalism, but ritual burial practice or dismemberment for transportation has not been ruled out,” a museum spokesman said. [BBC another picture]