Flavouring food: the contribution of chimpanzee behaviour to the understanding of Neanderthal calculus composition and plant use in Neanderthal diets

  title={Flavouring food: the contribution of chimpanzee behaviour to the understanding of Neanderthal calculus composition and plant use in Neanderthal diets},
  author={Sabrina Krief and Camille Daujeard and Marie-H{\'e}l{\`e}ne Moncel and Noemie Lamon and Vernon Reynolds},
  pages={464 - 471}
In a recent study, Hardy et al. (2012) examined ten samples of dental calculus from five Neanderthal individuals from El Sidrón in northern Spain (occupation dates between 47300 and 50600 BP). In calculus from a young adult, they discovered the presence of compounds (dihydroazulene, chamazulene and methylherniarin) that occur in yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and camomile (Matriarca chamomilla). In preference to other hypotheses, the authors proposed that these two plants were used for self… 
Doctors, chefs or hominin animals? Non-edible plants and Neanderthals
Two recent articles offer alternative scenarios for why and how those plants may have reached the mouth and, eventually, the dental calculus of the individual concerned, and consider their probability and feasibility as alternatives to the original proposal of self-medication.
Paleomedicine and the use of plant secondary compounds in the Paleolithic and Early Neolithic
  • K. Hardy
  • Environmental Science
    Evolutionary anthropology
  • 2019
A broad‐spectrum approach to plant collection is likely to have been in place throughout the Paleolithic driven, in part, by the need for medicinal compounds.
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Microfossils in calculus demonstrate consumption of plants and cooked foods in Neanderthal diets (Shanidar III, Iraq; Spy I and II, Belgium)
Direct evidence is reported for Neanderthal consumption of a variety of plant foods, in the form of phytoliths and starch grains recovered from dental calculus of Neanderthal skeletons from Shanidar Cave, Iraq, and Spy Cave, Belgium, suggesting an overall sophistication in Neanderthal dietary regimes.
Diversity of items of low nutritional value ingested by chimpanzees from Kanyawara, Kibale National Park, Uganda: an example of the etho-ethnology of chimpanzees
English For more than 30 years, field studies have shown that chimpanzees ingest items of low nutritional value such as rough leaves, bitter stems and clay, apparently thereby protecting themselves
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Neanderthal self-medication in context
It is proposed that compounds from two non-nutritional plants, yarrow and camomile, in a sample of Neanderthal dental calculus from the northern Spanish site of El Sidrón were selected and ingested deliberately for the purpose of self-medication.
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