How were the ancestors of humans living hundreds of thousands of years ago? What were they eating? How were they mating? How did they find food? How could they protect themselves against wild animals? Were they treating their wounds in any way, did they discover alcohol? Modern humans had always been trying to find answers to these questions and many more.
New archaeological research led by archaeologist Joao Zilhão from the University of Barcelona is pointing to the idea that Neanderthals living in today’s Figueira Brava site on Portugal’s Atlantic coast during the last ice age consumed huge amounts of seafood like fish, eel, mollusk, and crab.
It happened for tens of thousands of years
The last ice age happened about 2.6 million years ago, and the Neanderthals who nurtured themselves with seafood did it for several tens of thousands of years. However, these ancestors of today’s humans were also consuming meat from land animals.
Archaeologist Manuel Will from the University of Tübingen spoke about the ability to adapt of the Neanderthals:
“The variable but consistent signal of these behaviors across multiple archaeological layers at Figueira Brava provides robust evidence of systematic, long-term coastal adaptations by Neanderthals during the Pleistocene,”
Short story about Neanderthals
According to Wikipedia, the Neanderthals are an extinct species or subspecies of archaic humans who lived in Eurasia until about 40,000 years ago. It is believed that they went extinct due to significant climate change, or because of competition with or extermination by modern humans that immigrated.
While some scientists are struggling to find life elsewhere in the Universe and are trying to guess how extraterrestrial life forms may look like, the truth is that we still have a lot to learn about us humans and how our evolution unfolded along with the history.
The research was published in Science.