If there was previously any doubt as to the cannibalistic nature of our ancestors, there need not be now.

Ancient remains from a known archaeological site confirm that a group of humans were butchered, carved and eaten.

These remains come from Gough's Cave in Somerset, England, which was last excavated in 1992.

However, scientists have continued to analyse the marks on the bones from this site.

Radiocarbon dating has revealed that the remains, which include human and animal bones, were placed in this cave over a very short time period almost 15,000 years ago.

Silvia Bello of London's Natural History Musum said that her team have identified much more modification than previously recorded.

"We’ve found undoubting evidence for defleshing, disarticulation, human chewing, crushing of spongy bone, and the cracking of bones to extract marrow,” she said.

And if that was not damming enough, they also found human tooth marks.

These findings, taken together, suggest that cannibalism was a normal behaviour for our ancestors. There was also evidence for the modification of human skulls after death. Some cranial remains had been modified into skull-caps.

Co-author of the work, Simon Parfitt of University College, London said: “A recurring theme of this period is the remarkable rarity of burials and how commonly we find human remains mixed with occupation waste at many sites."

Further analysis aims to uncover just how widespread cannibalism was during this period, and whether ritualistic ceremonies always accompanied such butchery. 

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