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BORDEAUX—Mealtime in Gough’s cave in Somerset, England, 14,700 years ago, was not for the faint of heart. Humans were on the menu, for consumption by their own kind. Anthropologists have long studied evidence for cannibalism in the human fossil record, but establishing that it occurred and ascertaining why people ate each other have proved difficult tasks. A new analysis provides fresh insights into the human defleshing that occurred at this site and what motivated it—and hints that cannibalism may have been more common in prehistory than previously thought.
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