Neanderthals Enjoyed Surf and Turf Meals

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Recently at Discovery News I told you about Neanderthal-made shell jewelry that suggests these hominids were as smart and creative as modern humans were at the time the jewelry was made, 50,000 years ago.

University of Bristol archaeologist Joao Zilhao, who led the project, told me about some other interesting discoveries he and his team made about Neanderthals. One concerns how they harvested shellfish for consumption.

By packaging the harvested shellfish in water-soaked algae, the Neanderthals helped to preserve the shellfish from the point of collection to the place where they ate them, such as Aviones Cave in Spain. This cave is right near the entrance of Cartagena harbor, so it provided "rooms" with a view as well as water resources. Algae remains were found among the shells within the cave.

We always hear about the big game hunting talents of Neanderthals, but this new research suggests that at least some groups enjoyed surf and turf meals. Or surf one night and maybe turf the next.

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nerriwy wang - 1/14/2010

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