Is this the stomach-turning truth about what the Neanderthals ate? By Robin McKee. The Observer, October 19, 2013.
Having the stomach for it: a contribution to Neanderthal diets? By Laura T. Buck, and Chris B. Stringer. Quaternary Science Reviews, published online September 29, 2013.
the central position of diet in determining ecology and behaviour, much
research has been devoted to uncovering Neanderthal subsistence strategies.
This has included indirect studies inferring diet from habitat reconstruction,
ethnographic analogy, or faunal assemblages, and direct methods, such as dental
wear and isotope analyses. Recently, studies of dental calculus have provided
another rich source of dietary evidence, with much potential. One of the most
interesting results to come out of calculus analyses so far is the suggestion that
Neanderthals may have been eating non-nutritionally valuable plants for
medicinal reasons. Here we offer an alternative hypothesis for the occurrence
of non-food plants in Neanderthal calculus based on the modern human
ethnographic literature: the consumption of herbivore stomach contents.