Why ritual cannibalism still exist?

What do you think, how long has cannibalism? Researchers believe that for over 15 thousand years, in a period of profound change, several groups of people in Europe have used human skulls as cups in ritual practices that included cannibalism. Analysis of cut marks on skull fragments found in the Grand Valley and the cave of El Mirador at Atapuerca (Spain), in the cave Gough (UK) to Hebrew (France) and Herxheim (Germany), and detects a similarity like human remains in several regions of Europe, and the time period varies from 20 000 to 4 000 years ago. A study published in the journal Journal of Archaeological Science.

Religious rituals and cannibalism

As reported in an interview with El pais , the coordinator and lead author of the study Palmyra Saladi from the Catalan Institute of human paleoecology and social evolution (IPHES) in Tarragona, ritual cannibalism is found in Paleolithic societies that lived as collectors, hunters Neolite (with the introduction of agriculture and livestock) and even in the bronze age, when metals were already used. They are very widely distributed and belong to different periods. But the interesting thing is that scientists do not know why.

In modern culture eating other people is unacceptable, so it was considered that the aversion to human flesh as characteristic of primitive societies. There is even an evolutionary explanation for the bad reputation of cannibalism. Daniel Carlton Gajdusek — American pediatrician and virologist discovered that Kuru — a prion disease similar to mad cow disease, were often observed among the inhabitants of New Guinea and was associated with habit of eating parts of dead relatives. It is possible that these epidemics favored the survival of groups who practiced cannibalism, but this is a fairly speculative hypothesis.

According to researchers, despite the fact that cannibalism was considered something exceptional, there is now increasing evidence that cannibalism had met more often. The authors believe that such practices are a kind of way of understanding death and are usually associated with strong emotional experiences. In the official press release of the study it is reported that in the past, some companies believed that a human skull had the power or life force, and sometimes they were collected as evidence of superiority and authority in the violent clashes. However, questions regarding these finds is still a lot.

In the study, scientists were able to determine that the levels discovered in certain areas of the skulls, there is a certain similarity. This stretching caused by using stone tools. This type of intense manipulation is found in all the relatively recent areas where Homo sapiens lived. Anyway, manipulation of the skulls and cannibalism are not exceptional cases for Western Europe. In the past, such remains were found among some Indian peoples, where eating the bodies of enemies is an ancient custom, which, incidentally, is found in human societies around the world.

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