Ancient rainforest humans feasted on dried meat, palm plants

Sydney, June 7 (IANS) Ancient hunter-gatherers in the Borneo tropics may have been feasting on dried meat and palm plants, shedding light on early humans who seemingly adapted to a hard life amid tropical rainforests, according to a latest Australian research.

An analysis of three extremely rare human jawbones up to 30,000 years old excavated from the Niah Caves in Borneo, Southeast Asia, suggested “strain that could have been caused by consuming tough or dried meats or palm plants”. the researchers, from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage as well as several Australian universities, said in a statement on Thursday.

Their study, which was published in the PLOS One scientific journal, “helps provide an insight into the diet of ancient people living near tropical rainforests”, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Through their potential consumption of raw plant foods and dried meats, the hunter-gatherer populations living in this region may have been adapting to their economically challenging environment.”

“These early modern humans were seemingly adapted to a difficult life in the tropical rainforests with their very small bodies and ruggedly build jaws from chewing really tough foods,” said the University of New South Wales’ Darren Curnoe.

“They tell us a lot about the challenges faced by the earliest people living in island Southeast Asia.”

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