Scientists reveal how East Asian prehistoric humans utilize birds

2022-08-12 Xinhua Editor:Li Yan

Chinese paleontologists have further revealed how prehistoric humans in East Asia ate and made use of birds, according to the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

A growing number of archaeological discoveries have shown that, as early as the Middle Paleolithic, ancient humans had been making full use of birds. They not only ate birds, but also used their feathers and claws as decorations, and their limb bones to make tools and musical instruments.

However, most studies focus on Europe and West Asia, and few have been reported in China and other parts of East Asia, said the IVPP.

A research team from the IVPP studied 414 bird bone pieces unearthed from the Shuidonggou site in northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

The results of the study showed that the ancient humans at the site hunted birds with nets, bows and arrows for their meat, feathers and bones.

The feathers were used as personal ornamentation to attract the attention of other people, and the bones were used to make tools. The behaviors were similar to those of humans in Europe and West Asia during the same period, according to the study.

The research provides an important regional case for the study of the relationship between ancient humans and birds, said the IVPP.

It was recently published in the journal Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences. 

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