El canibalismo en las sociedades neandertales europeas del Paleolítico Medio: una exploración de contextos y causas
Cannibalism in European Neanderthal Societies of the Middle Paleolithic: An Exploration of Contexts and Causes
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AuthorCaballero Sastre, Pablo
ABSTRACT This project focuses on the study of Neanderthal remains associated to cannibalistic practices found in European sites. The identification of this kind of behavior has increased largely over the last years and now includes sites that are well studied and published, such as Krapina, El Sidrón, Moula-Guercy or Goyet. Our aim, therefore, is to explore the traits of archaeological contexts where this behavior is documented and to address the factors that caused it. Evidence for this type of practices and related variants will be outlined while we perform the above review in order to discuss whether there is a regional bias or if, on the contrary, it resembles a global phenomenon. We will also discuss whether cannibalistic practices have a chronological component, so that they may be associated to periods of increased competitiveness between groups, food scarcity, climate change, etc. We will get this by using a qualitative methodology based in a bibliographic review of sites with butchery- related Neanderthal remains. We will take into account some datas in every site like the number of Neanderthal remains, the layer where they were found, their chronology, the Minimal Number of Individuals and their ages, the amount of animal remains and lithic tools found with them, how was the landscape and the weather back then and the functionality of the site.
This evaluation will allow us to determine the likelihood of distinguishing Neanderthal cultures across time and space and the true import of cannibalism for those groups; namely, to tell whether this was an isolated occurrence or an ordinary practice. To sum up, we aim to make a new insight that allows us to understand what cannibalism meant in Mid-Paleolithic European Neanderthal societies.