Research Seminar 13/10/16 | Dr Silvia Bello: Prehistoric Cannibalism in Europe

14699628_10100792080952454_1691235549_oIt was a full house last week for Dr. Silvia Bello’s presentation on prehistoric cannibalism. She began by defining cannibalism, highlighting the difference between funerary de-fleshing of individuals and evidence of eating flesh, which could possibly look the same in the archaeological record. She particularly showed evidence of human gnawing on bones can be instrumental in implying that humans were being eaten. Through analysing the micromorphology of human cutmarks Bello also showed it was potentially possible to differentiate between butchered (cannibalised) bones and bones that were cleaned when not wholly fleshed. She suggested that we separate cannibalism into certain classes, particularly into “necessity” cannibalism and “choice” cannibalism, and gave archaeological and historical examples of each. Finally Bello encouraged us to think not of cannibalism as such a taboo as it is an integral part of cultures around the world. We thank Dr Bello for a fascinating research topic, which this blog does not do justice! You can find out more about her research here.

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