Another day, another total panty dropper from the Journal of Archeological Science. A study of residue on ancient arrowheads got weird when they discovered proteins that make up the actual diet of our paleo ancestors.
Researchers discovered 17 Paleo-era tools from approximately 250,000 years ago in the Shishan Marsh in Northeast Jordan. These tools were used by cooperative groups of hunters. What did they really, really eat? An awful lot of rhinoceros.
That’s right. RHINOCEROS.
“Our most Paleo ancestors were likely the least strict when it came to what they ate. And if they’re anything like their rhino-hunting living relatives in Namibia, sharing the meat of that hunt probably made them pretty popular with the ladies.”
The studies found protein residue of “rhinoceros (3), duck (3), horse (5), camel (3), and bovine (3)” sources. Those numbers in parentheses reflect the number of times the proteins of each animal came up in the test. Meaning that your paleo ancestors ate a lot of horsemeat, second only to rhino.
It’s often dangerous to extrapolate, but finding duck and rhinoceros in equal amounts on hunting tools really just means that they were hunted in equal numbers—regardless of size. So for every meal of duck they likely had 50 plates of rhino.
These are some of the oldest tools every examined, and other studies have found that starting about 11,000 years ago, human tools showed signs of mammoth, caribou and bear.
The study points to one amazing fact, though: “Modern humans subsisting in extreme environments today often adapt by broadening their foraging strategies to incorporate a wide variety of plants and animals including insects and other arthropods into their diets.” Which is to say that our adaptability, rather than our stringent diet, comes from these ancient ancestors.
In other words, our most paleo ancestors were likely the least strict when it came to what they ate. And if they’re anything like their rhino-hunting living relatives in Namibia, sharing the meat of that hunt probably made them pretty popular with the ladies.
So if you wanna hit your goals on the Paleo diet, go for it. Maybe have a duck. Double dare you to try some horsemeat, bro. But if you want to honor your ancestors and their struggles throughout history, eat whatever the fuck you want.