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Spaniards once ate elephant meat
Spero News ^ | April 24, 2012 06:00

Posted on 04/24/2012 1:07:25 PM PDT by robowombat

Spaniards once ate elephant meat Tuesday, April 24, 2012 By Spero News

Researchers have found cut and percussion marks in elephant bones in the site of Preresa.

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Humans that populated the banks of the river Manzanares (Madrid, Spain) during the Middle Palaeolithic (between 127,000 and 40,000 years ago) fed themselves on pachyderm meat and bone marrow. This is what a Spanish study shows and has found percussion and cut marks on elephant remains in the site of Preresa (Madrid).

In prehistoric times, hunting animals implied a risk and required a considerable amount of energy. Therefore, when the people of the Middle Palaeolithic (between 127,000 and 40,000 years ago) had an elephant in the larder, they did not leave a scrap.

Humans that populated the Madrid region 84,000 years ago fed themselves on these prosbocideans' meat and they consumed their bone marrow, according to this new study. Until now, the scientific community doubted that consuming elephant meat was a common practice in that era due to the lack of direct evidence on the bones. It is still to be determined whether they are from the Mammuthus species of the Palaleoloxodon subspecies.

The researchers found bones with cut marks, made for consuming the meat, and percussion for obtaining the bone marrow. "There are many sites, but few with fossil remains with marks that demonstrate humans' purpose" Jose Yravedra, researcher at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) and lead author of the study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science points out to SINC.

This is the first time that percussion marks that showed an intentional bone fracture to get to the edible part inside have been documented. These had always been associated with tool manufacturing but in the remains found, this hypothesis was discarded. The tools found in the same area were made of flint and quartzite.

The team, made up of archaeologists, zooarchaeologists and geologists from UCM, the Institute of Human Evolution in Africa (IDEA) in Madrid and the Spanish National Research Centre for Human Evolution (CENIEH) in Burgos, collected 82 bones from one elephant, linked to 754 stone tools, in an area of 255 metres squared, in the site of Preresa, on the banks of the river Manzanares.

In the case of the cut marks on the fossil remains, these add to the "oldest evidence of exploiting elephants" in the site of --idos, close to the river Jarama, according to another study published by Yravedra in the same journal. "There are few records about the exploitation of elephants in Siberia, North America and central Europe", the zooarchaeologist explains.

The risk of hunting an elephant

The internal organs were what the predator ate first, be they human or any kind of carnivore. The prehistoric signs of the banquet help researchers to find out who was the first to sit down at the table, as the risk of hunting an elephant posed the question as to whether humans hunted it or were scavengers.

"This is the next mystery to be solved" Yravedra replies, who reminds us that there is evidence of hunting in other smaller animals in the same site. However, due to the thickness of fibrous membranes and other elephant meat tissues, humans did not always leave marks on the bones. "And for this reason, sometimes it is difficult to determine if humans used their meat".

The 'Holy Grail' of Palaeolithic diet

Animal fat was highly valued by hunters and gatherers that had a diet rich in meat and low in carbohydrates. When there was little meat, other resources such as bone marrow became a source of lipids.

According to the study, this practice was not very common due to the difficulty of extracting the marrow from the bones. Furthermore "exploiting the fat is something that has not been reported until now" the researcher says. Other food sources, such as brains, had the same nutritional benefits.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: godsgravesglyphs; spain

1 posted on 04/24/2012 1:07:32 PM PDT by robowombat
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To: robowombat
WOK Thank God Obama wasn't Spanish...
2 posted on 04/24/2012 1:14:43 PM PDT by baddog 219
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To: robowombat

Must be a Spanish crocodile.

3 posted on 04/24/2012 1:27:31 PM PDT by Dr. Thorne (Don't vote for anyone who worked for Goldman Sachs)
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To: Dr. Thorne

the other-other-other white meat...

4 posted on 04/24/2012 1:30:43 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: robowombat

Does elephant taste just like chicken?

5 posted on 04/24/2012 1:31:07 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

Dunno, but season it up and throw it in the smoker. That should make it passable tender...potato salad on the side...

6 posted on 04/24/2012 1:33:57 PM PDT by Crapgame (What should be taught in our schools? American Exceptionalism, not cultural Marxism...)
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To: Crapgame
Ah yes, but the annual Running of the Elephants drew a lot less participants than today's Running of the Bulls.
7 posted on 04/24/2012 1:44:57 PM PDT by dblshot (Insanity: electing the same people over and over and expecting different results.)
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To: robowombat
And many many years later Hannibal Barca crossed the Alps with both Spaniards AND Elephants.
8 posted on 04/24/2012 1:50:48 PM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send GOP to DC to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism)
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To: robowombat
You can do many things "once"....

Just sayin'

9 posted on 04/24/2012 1:53:31 PM PDT by Wings-n-Wind (The main things are the plain things!)
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To: robowombat
Spaniards once ate elephant meat

That nearby Tunisian restaurant had delivery?

10 posted on 04/24/2012 1:55:41 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (You only have three billion heartbeats in a lifetime.How many does the government claim as its own?)
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To: robowombat

“One bite at a time!”

11 posted on 04/24/2012 2:01:33 PM PDT by wxgesr (I want to be the first person to surf on another planet.)
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To: robowombat

pigs and elephants are on the same evolutionary branch, maybe it tastes like pork?

12 posted on 04/24/2012 2:02:59 PM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: robowombat; SunkenCiv

Just once??


13 posted on 04/24/2012 2:48:06 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: central_va

pigs and cows. Maybe a hambeefy blubbery seafood taste?

So this Spaniard caveman is showing off his pack made out of
ele-foreskin. “Ju rub eet jus’ right, it turn into luggage.”

14 posted on 04/24/2012 2:54:41 PM PDT by tumblindice (Our new, happy lives.)
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To: robowombat

King Juan Carlos of Spain is no stranger to controversial hunting. Six years ago, it was asserted that the 74-year-old shot a drunken Russian bear that had been lured with honey and vodka. Officials dismissed the allegations as ridiculous. The Spanish media have just had another field day though, after they learned he’d broken his hip hunting in Botswana recently.

The King also shot and killed his brother in an accident when he was a teenager. And just last week, his 13-year-old grandson, Froilán Marichalar, shot himself in the foot while hunting in Spain – media claimed it was illegal for Marichalar to have been using the gun he had shot himself with.

The monarch’s fall in Botswana, which left him with a broken right hip, was made worse after a photograph of the king standing proudly in front of a dead elephant emerged.

Spanish media took the latest news about their king very seriously, and lambasted his actions while his country copes with austerity measures and the grip of the Eurozone crisis.

The photograph, which had actually been taken on a previous trip, was from the website of Botswana-based Rann Safaris, but it had been removed by Sunday.

It’s alleged the king would have forked out about $15 000 for the hunt.

15 posted on 04/24/2012 3:18:51 PM PDT by Calusa (The pump don't work cause the vandals took the handles. Quoth Bob Dylan.)
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To: SunkenCiv

Notwithstanding all the dumb@$$ comments, this looks like a good GGG article...

16 posted on 04/24/2012 7:48:31 PM PDT by TXnMA
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To: GeronL; TXnMA; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; ...

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks GeronL and TXnMA. First they invented pajamas...

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.

17 posted on 04/24/2012 8:41:56 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time --
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To: robowombat
Ive never understood the resistance by researchers to accept that marrow was not only eaten but was actually likely a prized portion. It is easy to swallow and digest so would have been of particular value to the youngest/oldest in any group and those who were ill or injured. It would keep longer than the meat as it comes in its own container. Which makes me wonder, how often are there long bones missing from the remains suggesting that those bones could have been hauled off and processed elsewhere at a later time?

Even the percussion mark arguement doesnt stand up well since we know that boiling using cooking stones was a relatively early technology and the bones themselves dont need to be actually split, just broken in some spot for good results. There are also techniques that could be used to open bones that are far easier than bashing down the length that would not leave the marks it sound like they are expecting.

I know that when I butcher/have an animal butchered I make sure I get all the marrow because I know how good marrow dumplings can be and make them as often as I can. I doubt that our forbears would have bypassed such an opportunity even if they could support themselves otherwise.

18 posted on 04/24/2012 9:59:01 PM PDT by gnarledmaw (Obama: Evincing a Design since 2009)
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To: robowombat

Is there a Mitt Romney angle to this story?

19 posted on 04/25/2012 5:13:28 AM PDT by mbarker12474 (If thine enemy offend thee, give his childe a drum.)
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