In two separate events, archaeologists have revealed evidence that may suggest human cannibalism in China. In the Canadian Arctic, the events occurred over thousands of years apart. With the 24th anniversary of Jeffrey Dahmer’s arrest today, it seems only appropriate that cannibalism makes headlines to commemorate the capture of the world’s most notoriously known cannibal.
Cannibalism in China
Chinese researchers have uncovered evidence of cannibalism on two thigh bones. The bones are believed to belong to an early human child from 100,000 years ago. Moreover, the bones belong to an extinct early species of humans that Chinese archaeologists refer to as Xuchang Man.
Evidence of Cannibalism
Lead archaeologist Li Zhanyang pointed out the evidence of cannibalism. as marks that indicate bites and even gnawing of the bones. Though the researchers do not deny that animals could have possibly left the marks, they also cannot rule out that a member of the same species feasted on the hominid’s thigh meat.
Whether the researchers will be able to conclusively prove that cannibalism is evident in the thigh bones. The discovery of more bones from the Xuchang man species in China is incredible in itself. Also, it’s slightly less morbid than knowing that the hominids that predated our ancestors may have enjoyed feasting on one other.
Trapped in Canadian Arctic Sea
Over half the world away in the Canadian Arctic sea in 1845, sailors of the British navy met a brutal end as their expedition failed and they were forced to turn to cannibalism to survive. Although plenty of research exists on the 19th century shipwrecked sailors, a new study reveals just how grisly the cannibalism became as the sailors slowly starved to death.
Brutal and Extreme
Published in the Journal of Osteoarchaeology, the researchers have suggested that the crew took to a rather brutal and extreme form of cannibalism as the starving sailors not only cut their fellow crew members’ flesh away from the bones but also snapped the bones, heated the bones in boiling water and sucked out the last bit of nutrition found in the marrow.
The expedition led by Sir John Franklin was expected to find a route to the Orient passing through the Canadian Arctic. However, as the seas froze, the crew abandoned the stuck ships. It called the HMS Erebus and, perhaps prophetically, the HMS Terror.