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Early Britons were cannibals: Study

London: A new research at the Oxford University, based on human remains found from a prehistoric cave in UK's south west Devon county, claims that early Britons could have been cannibals. Research by scientists who examined a 9,000-year-old human arm bone from the prehistoric cave show flesh was removed from it, or that dismemberment took place shortly after death. Dr Rick Schulting, of Oxford's School of Archaeology, said there are "intentional cut marks on there", and "it seems the bone has been intentionally split". "These two together can raise the possibility of cannibalism," he was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph newspaper today. "The fact the markings are all in the same place indicate they were made to remove muscle attachments from the bone while it was still "fresh", Dr Schulting said. "This may only be a single bone, but it has already shown us something about mortuary practices, and the possibility of cannibalism," he underlined. The fragment of the bone, which was was discovered by early archaeologist and geologist William Pengelly in 1866, is being kept at Torquay Museum. The whereabouts of the rest of the adult human's body are unknown, the report said. According to archaeologists at Gough's Cave in Cheddar Gorge, Somerset, they may also have tumbled upon evidence of cannibalism after studying human remains from the preceding Upper Palaeolithic period discovered there. However, the scientist have cautioned that cannibalism was just one possibility, and that the markings could have been part of a ritualistic burial process. (Agencies)



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