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Stone Age Cutups: Deathly rituals emerge at Neandertal site

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12:02pm, April 13, 2005

After excavating a cache of Neandertal fossils about 100 years ago at Krapina Cave in what's now Croatia, researchers concluded that incisions on the ancient individuals' bones showed that they had been butchered and presumably eaten by their comrades. That claim has proved difficult to confirm. A new, high-tech analysis indicates that the Krapina Neandertals ritually dismembered corpses in ways that must have held symbolic meaning for the group—whether or not Neandertals ate those remains.

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