Human evolution: Neanderthal cooking like humans (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Thursday, November 24, 2022, 15:15 (6 days ago) @ David Turell

Another recent find:

"Now a new paper by Ceren Kabukcu and colleagues in the journal of Antiquity shows that the technique of charring objectionable vegetables to detoxify them and render them toothsome goes back tens of thousands of years, and was apparently even used by Neanderthals in Iraq.


"Sites from the Middle Paleolithic onward show evidence of consumption of bitter wild almonds, a rich source of cyanide; tannin-rich wild pistachios from terebinth trees, which reportedly taste like turpentine; bitter mustard leaves; and wild pulses including said vetch, some of which abound in neurotoxins. All need multiple steps of preparation to render them edible, or at least not deadly.

"The inference, says the team: foragers as of the Middle Paleolithic onward, sapiens or otherwise, must have developed preparation and cooking techniques to render these plants safe to eat.


"In fact, the charred plants at Shanidar are among the earliest finds of their kind discovered to date in southwest Asia and Europe, the researchers say.


"Shanidar in Iraq is famous for its occupation by Neanderthals who may have buried their dead with flowers. One of the layers to feature charred veg aggregate dates to the Middle Paleolithic. Five more surfaced in samples from the Upper Paleolithic about 42,500 to 35,000 years ago. At the very least, the earliest burned-veg mush there was cooked by Neanderthals about 75,000 to 70,000 years ago."

Comment: Neanderthals are becoming more and more human-like

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