Cavemen cooked meals of fish half a million years earlier than previously thought, scientists reveal

CAVEMEN cooked fish dinners 780,000 years ago – half a million years earlier than previously thought.

Fish teeth unearthed by archaeologists show that the “tasty and nutritious” species of carp was carefully heated, but not burned, before being eaten.

Scientists discover excavated fish teeth suggesting fish was carefully cooked 780,000 years ago

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Scientists discover excavated fish teeth suggesting fish was carefully cooked 780,000 years agoCredit: HANNAH BARBERA
Scientists from the London Natural History Museum are still working on how the fish was cooked over the fire

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Scientists from the London Natural History Museum are still working on how the fish was cooked over the firePhoto credit: Getty

And they could even have been served with a salad, as remains of fruit, nuts and seeds were also found at the site – along with mammalian meat.

The finds come from the Israeli excavation site Gesher Benot Ya’aqov on the banks of the Jordan.

dr Irit Zohar of Tel Aviv University said, “They illustrate prehistoric people’s ability to control fire to cook food and their understanding of the benefits of cooking fish before consumption.”

Prof. Naama Goren-Inbar, director of the excavation at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, added: “It marks a significant evolutionary advance. It is even possible that different animal and plant species were involved in the cooking.”

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The team told the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution that crystals in the fossilized teeth showed they had been exposed to 500C of heat – less than half the temperature of open flames.

dr Jens Najorka of the London Natural History Museum said: “We don’t know exactly how the fish was cooked, but it’s clear it wasn’t just thrown on the fire.”

Most read in The Irish Sun

https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9732049/cavemen-fish-suppers-half-a-million-years/ Cavemen cooked meals of fish half a million years earlier than previously thought, scientists reveal

Fry Electronics Team

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