Oldest cooked leftovers ever found suggest Neanderthals were foodies

Pancake-cum-flatbread with a ‘nutty’ taste is first evidence of complex cooking and food culture

If you thought Neanderthals survived on a diet of foraged berries and uncooked animal flesh, think again. Charred remnants of what appear be the world’s oldest cooked meal ever found have been unearthed in a cave complex in northern Iraq, prompting speculation that Neanderthals may have been foodies.

“Our findings are the first real indication of complex cooking – and thus of food culture – among Neanderthals,” said Chris Hunt, a professor of cultural paleoecology at Liverpool John Moores University, who coordinated the excavation.

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