The 30,000-year-old jawbone found in Niah Cave belonged to a primitive man who lived in the rainforests of Southeast Asia during Late Pleistocene contains important information about the dietary habits of the ancient humans. According to a study, the fossils revealed that those ancient men were following a tough diet mainly based on raw meat and palm hearts.
The found jawbone belonged to a man who died about 30,000 years ago in the territory that is now known as Borneo, a big island in the vicinity of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei. The man lived with about 10,000 years before the last Ice Age and the fossilized jawbone revealed precious information about the dietary habits followed by the primitive men who lived in the rainforests of Southeast Asia.
What struck the scientists first was that the jawbone they unearthed was pretty small in comparison to modern men’s mandible and, despite it belonged to an adult person, its size indicated to a short-stature human with a surprisingly small body.
The 30,000-year-old jawbone found in Niah Cave revealed ancient humans’ dietary habits during Late Pleistocene
“The jaw is massive from side to side, and it has distinct markings and well-sculpted grooves where very large muscles were attached to move and support it during chewing,” explained Darren Curnoe, the study’s author, for arsTECHNICA.
That indicates that ancient humans who lived in that region were possessing very powerful jaw muscles which can only be “trained” through eating. According to this discovery, corroborated with the presence of tens of animal bones scattered across the Niah Cave, the scientists believe that primitive men who inhabited the region during Late Pleistocene were following a diet rich in raw meat.
Further studies indicated that these ancient humans who had inhabited rainforests of Southeast Asia also ate palm hearts and slightly cooked yams roots.