An English cave serves up the oldest known vessels made from human skulls
Ice Age folk who lived in what’s now southwestern England gruesomely went from heads off to bottoms up. Bones excavated at a cave there include the oldest known examples of drinking cups or containers made out of human skulls, says a team led by paleontologist Silvia Bello of the Natural History Museum in London.
Measurements of a naturally occurring form of carbon in the skulls places them at about 14,700 years old, Bello and her colleagues report in a paper published online February 16 in PLoS ONE. Prehistoric cave denizens cleaned the skulls before using stone tools to shape the upper parts of the brain cases into containers, the researchers say.
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