The Neanderthals Cooked & Ate Their Vegetables
A new research suggests that the Neanderthals cooked and ate their vegetables.
When we hear about Neanderthals the first set of images that conjure up our minds is that of half clothed men hunting for meat. Even the studies suggested that the Neanderthals were great meat eaters. Chemical analysis conducted on their bones also suggested that the Neanderthals were carnivores. But the new research dented severe potholes in our mind and changed our perceptions for better.
The U.S Researchers concluded that Neanderthals ate vegetables after finding the strains of cooked grains in the teeth of the Neanderthal skeletons. The strains identified by researchers suggest that Neanderthals probably cooked the foods derived from plants such as legumes, grass, palms and seeds. Although there is no clear picture about why Neanderthals ate their vegetables cooked, but the viable reasons indicate that they might have done it for- easiness, taste and variety. The abstract of the study points to the "overall sophistication in the Neanderthal dietary regimes" and indicate that they might have resorted to cooking to convert the plant food into easily digestible foodstuff.
Today some scientists that the meat eating perception of the Neanderthal man might be forged. Scientists might have arrived on such conclusion in order to pacify the questions regarding the extinction of humans and mammoths from earth. But the new analysis quashes the claims of chemical studies which confirmed our guess that Neanderthals were carnivores. The scientists are now concentrating on food habits of Neanderthals after closely observing their skeletons. The pollen grains were found in the excavation sites where Neanderthal skeletons were found, but the scientists ignored it thinking that it was just trivial thing. The strain of cooked grains identified on the teeth of the Neanderthal man was enough to establish the link between the pollen grains and the Neanderthal's dietary habits. Professor Alison Brooks, from George Washington University confirmed these claims to BBC by saying that: "We have found pollen grains in Neanderthal sites before, but you never know whether they were eating the plant or sleeping on them or what." He further explained "But here we have a case where a little bit of the plant is in the mouth so we know that the Neanderthals were consuming the food."
The Scientists have already established that Neanderthals ate their vegetables cooked, but the new set of confusion that is conquering their minds areregarding the validity of the chemical analysis conducted on the bones. Professor Brooks say, that the tests concentrated more on measuring proteins levels. And with the available figures researchers concluded that the proteins might have come from meats, but it is pretty possible that Neanderthals derived their dose of proteins from plants.
A correspondent from BBC that this particular incidence of identifying the vegetarian food habits of Neanderthals indicate that "far from being brutish savages, Neanderthals were more like us than we previously thought."
We can hope that more studies will help us in identifying and learning more about our ancestors and their food habits.
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