Talk:Hunter-gatherer

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Social and Economic Structure piece[edit]

I think this bit needs to be rewritten. It's a bit chatty, I think, but what do the rest of ya say? I don't think I should edit it as I don't know anything about hunter-gatherers, but I noticed that it sounded a tad informal; though that may or may not be worthy of editing. Robin Talbot (talk) 14:40, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

The context of Hobbes, “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish”, is also used by Marvin Harris (and is perhaps the indirect source of it in this article) to introduce his chapter, “Was There Life Before Chiefs?” in his book, “Our Kind”. Harris’s comments follow the general flow of this section of the Wiki article.

Additionally, it is worthwhile to contrast Hobbes’s view with Seneca’s Epistle XC, which conveys a similar egalitarian sentiment of the people of a time long ago (similar to the article; not Hobbes): “What race of men was ever more blest than that race? They enjoyed all nature in partnership. Nature sufficed for them, now the guardian, as before she was the parent, of all; and this her gift consisted of the assured possession by each man of the common resources. Why should I not even call that race the richest among mortals, since you could not find a poor person among them? […] When there is no more that we can do, we shall possess much; but we once possessed the whole world!” — Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.204.160.213 (talk) 00:29, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

There's also an issue here: "The systems of kinship and descent among human hunter-gatherers were relatively flexible, although there is evidence that early human kinship in general tended to be matrilineal.[20]" This is in conflict with the Wikipedia article lol on Matrilineality (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matrilineality#Early_human_kinship) which says this was a theory espoused in the C19 but much less supported by social anthropologists today. I'd suggest an edit to bring this section into line with that - "there is some evidence", "a few anthropologists claim that" etc. -- Not a Wikipedia user, but @hautepop — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.160.53.50 (talk) 14:58, 31 August 2013 (UTC)

Wilmsen[edit]

If this article and website want to be taken seriously then why cite stuff like: Wilmsen, Edwin (1989). Land Filled With Flies: A Political Economy of the Kalahari. University Of Chicago Press. ISBN Lee and Guenther really destory his work, which was published in a non-peer reviewed book. He has been shown to have made stuff up, on purpose. His reply, 10 years in the making, is silly. Whoever refrenced him knows nothing about hunter gathers if they are presenting Wilmsen's findings as fact. Maybe I should upload some of Philip Rushton's findings as 'fact' if that is the kinda bs people are looking for. Someone fix this, now! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.251.93.111 (talk) 21:04, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Article overhaul[edit]

This entry is overall pretty terrible. There is no recognizable organization, stereotyping generalizations abound without any reference to a source, and there are huge holes where information should be. Any changes I make are for these reasons. I am glad to talk about this here with anyone who feels differently.--Losecontrol

Losecontrol, you've done some very nice work here in re-writing what was quite a poorly-constructed and ill-phrased article. I've made some further revisions on top of this, pls review.
One thing - it would be good to have the references for the claims by some mentioned in the "Modern World" section, which seem to be saying (if I read it right) that contemporary H-G societies are hopelessly adulterated and cannot provide any reliable insight into how historical H-G societies operated- to further investigate the currency of these claims, and make it easier to find citations which counter this viewpoint.--cjllw | TALK 07:53, 28 September 2005 (UTC)

Can user with IP 195.92.168.167 provide any direct references for the many facts cited?

IP 195.92.168.167, please use in-text citations, preferably with page numbers, and use existing headings (i.e. 'References') when applicable.
also, please explain what you mean by "cultural forms." to me, that term does not help distinguish anything.--Losecontrol
Loosecontrol = please refrain from vandalism. You "assumed" the 'Further Reading' section was intended as footnotes for the cultural section, and deleted it. You assumed wrongly.
IP 195.92.168.167, my apologies. However, you added a great deal of specific information, which requires some kind of source. Please cite references for all of this. Also "Vandalism is any addition, deletion, or change to content made in a deliberate attempt to compromise the integrity of the encyclopedia." Needless to say, while my deletion may have been insulting to you, it was in no way an attempt to undermine the accuracy of the entry; I've been trying to improve it for the last few weeks, in fact. (Have you seen the page history?) I believe references to specific infomation are helpful, and that is why I assumed you were trying to provide some. Again, my apologies.--Losecontrol
IP 195.92.168.167, Here are the topics you introduced that I think merit some kind of documentation:
  • communication system using mark-making
  • archaeological evidence of 36,000 year-old flute
  • archaeological evidence of clothing pattern-cutting
--Losecontrol

Returning to hunting-gathering[edit]

Something could be said about how people returns to hunting-gathering. Cases like the North American Indians after the arrival of Europeans and the subsequent fall of civilizations, the Moriori, the Western Europeans between the Carolingian Empire and the arrival of feudalism. --Error 01:34, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

- Just a sidenote, from what I recall, on average, the gatherers accounted for 70% of the food acquired and eaten, while hunters account for 30% of the food acquired and eaten. Calling them Hunting-Gathering tribe is androcentric (male-bias); if anything, they should really be referred to as Gathering-Hunting societies. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 129.210.160.83 (talkcontribs) 2 March 2006

quite possibly, although I suspect proportions of sustenance obtained by different methods vary considerably from group to group, region to region, and season to season. 'Androcentric' it may be, but I've never seen the practice referred to with these reversed, so the article name will need to remain as-is.--cjllw | TALK 05:44, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Improvement drive[edit]

A related topic, History of the world is currently a nomination on WP:IDRIVE. Support the article with your vote to improve its quality. --Fenice 14:18, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Symbolic culture section[edit]

the stuff on the early forms of writing clearly does not belong in this entry. the Vinca script was used in neolithic europe; they were not hunter-gatherers. also this is not an entry on the evolution of culture or art. the stuff on the prehistoric musical instruments and rock art/cave art should go in more pertinent entries. everything else in this section could either be moved to a better entry or is of questionable reliability given the mistakes i mentioned above and the lack of citation of sources. i will leave it up to the original author(s) to relocate their contribution to other entries, and i will remove it from this one.--LC | Talk 23:31, 9 July 2006 (UTC)


Proposed Merge with Band Society[edit]

  • DISAGREE. I have already written this over at the talk page for Bands, but I suppose it won't do any harm to put it here as well. I strongly disagree with this proposed merge, on the grounds that 1. Not all hunter-gatherers operate as bands (see Northwest Coast of the United States), and 2. "Band" is a category proposed in mid-20th century anthropological theory, which has a series of characteristics, only ONE of which is hunting/gathering/foraging/collecting. For these reasons the entries should remain separate. TriNotch 16:11, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
  • The reason I suggested it is that many entries link to Band society when the Hunter-gatherer entry is usually more pertinent, and it has far more information. However, I see your point. If you want to remove the merge tags, go ahead. If you do so, I think it will be necessary to revise both entries to refer more to each other. LC | Talk 21:17, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
    • I see your point. I agree that we should either revise the articles OR fix the entries that link to these articles. I am willing to help. I'll wait to remove the merge tag for a few days, just in case anyone presents a strong case in favor. TriNotch 00:00, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Causes of death among hunter-gatherers[edit]

As befits an article (status: 17.08.06) blithely using the term "genocide", first defined in the late 1940s and depending crucially on intent (ever heard of an intending chicken pox or influenza virus?) for all colonisations, causes of death are suppressed.

The romantic pre-Lapsarian, Golden Age (cf.Hesiod) yearning of post-Leftist, identity politics-type, Anglo pre-historians/anthropologists leads to them ignoring: abortion, infanticide, warfare and geriatricide as adaptively necessary behaviours among nomadic hunter-gatherers. The fear among you PC people - in your frantic moralistic jockeying for what you seem to imagine to be the tenurable financial favour of research-grant dispensing and career-making govt. and university bureaucrats - seems to be that eg indigenous legal rights in USA/Canada/Australia are somehow endangered if you give an unvarnished account of pre-invasion societies. There is for Australia ample eyewitness diary/journal evidence of the above causes of Aboriginal (shock! horror! it´s a racist! it didn´t write "indigenous!) death in the early 1800s. This is notwithstanding the fact that in 2006, any statement made by a white male European eyewitness in the early 1800s gets automatically smeared by you people, especially if he uses words such as "native" rather than whatever your slavish obedience to academic fashion dictates is the current PC word. --62.134.80.81 18:22, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

One of the UN definitions of genocide is "Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part." This includes coerced assimilation.
It is abundantly clear that the cultural diversity that existed worldwide 10,000 years ago has been drastically reduced either deliberately or accidentally. Because there is no certainty about the deliberateness of anyones actions but our own, now or prehistorically, but only our presumptions, we must rely solely upon rational evaluation of all available evidence to determine the deliberateness of the elimination of cultural difference that has occurred successively over the past 10,000 years.
Because available written records describe almost unanimously genocidal interactions between western cultures and the indigenous, it is relatively safe to assume that those descriptions are accurate. If western civilization has historically committed genocide persistently in the wake of it's expansion, it is also reasonable to assume that prehistoric civilizations behaved similarly toward hunter-gatherers in the path of their expansion. It is unlikely that non-hunter-gatherers eliminated hunter-gatherer cultures by accident repeatedly for 10,000 years.
If they didn't like what was happening over and over to hunter-gatherers, they could have stopped. Unless, of course, this impulse for elimination of cultural difference is an inevitable consequence of the growth of sedentary agricultural society (which has been suggested by many). Does "inevitable" fall into the category of accidental or deliberate? I don't know, but I would assume that the UN would consider any group who could explain its destruction of other cultures to be an inevitable or unavoidable consequence of its own existence to be perpetrating genocide. In this case, that "group" is western civilization. 128.83.233.165 15:53, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

REJOINDER: you mention cultural diversity or difference no fewer than 3 times. Your stance is hence cultural relativist, ie the emancipation content of a culture is irrelevant to you, in a way very familiar in Anglo discourse since 1980 or so.Do you actually know any hunter-gatherer culture in detail: ostracism? magic? witchcraft? infanticide? cannibalism? warfare? gerontocracy? gender inequality, etc?

On the one hand, your fashionable, identity politics, "respect" stance reflects the loss of faith in social Progress due to eg the downfall of Communism or the apparent juggernaut march of Capitalism in the last ca 30 years. On the other, your beliefs are not a plan for action: given world population nos., a return to hunter-gatherer mode across the board is impossible. Not least because the animist or pantheist religiosity needed to constrain capitalist acquisition and thus environmental destruction is not longer possible, at least until crude oil runs out.

Lastly, 1. your penultimate sentence is incorrect: inevitable or unavoidable does not mean intentional. Intent is a category of human consciousness before the act, inevitability is a post hoc ergo propter hoc analysis. 2. destruction of hunter-gatherers is not restricted to western countries, or do you imagine ancient, city (= sedentary) Persia, India or China tolerated their existence?--62.134.80.12 16:31, 18 August 2006 (UTC)


Response
  1. I acknowledge that inevitable does not mean intentional. However, the reference to genocide in the entry alludes to the unambiguous genocides that were perpetrated in the last 500-1000 years by western civilization, so this argument is superfluous.
  2. Please provide a few examples of the "emancipation content" of western civilization or of any cultural heritage in which you have identified an admirable amount of it. What is emancipation, in this context?
70.142.153.128 05:50, 19 August 2006 (UTC) (formerly 128.83.233.165)

Warfare[edit]

IP 62.134.80.181:

I removed your addition of 09:15, 20 September 2006, revision ID 76755997, for the following reasons. First this paragraph does not belong in the social structure section. Further, there is no suggestion in the entry that hunter-gatherers were peaceful or not, so for you to begin your addition with the word "conversely" is inappropriate. If you feel that a discussion of warfare is called for in this entry, please discuss it here first, and we can devise a way to effectively fit it in.

Secondly, according to Keeley's own index, the topic of hunter-gatherers appears precicely six times dispersed throughout his 183-page book over 9 pages. The vast majority of the book concerns agriculturalists or pastoralists. If you are going to use Keeley, you need cite specific facts from his book with page numbers. LC | Talk 23:27, 20 September 2006 (UTC)


Neo-Rousseauist nonsense[edit]

The above self-accusations by LoseControl are precisely the type of neo-Rousseauist blinkers that Keeley strips off the faces of all but the most obtuse onlookers. To wit: the topic of Warfare, contrary to your averral, belongs precisely in the section Social Structure. Namely: your allegation that Sahlins made no reference to Hobbes is either an oversight on your part, or alternatively, you do not understand Hobbes. And yet Hobbes is cited by Sahlins in this section.

Secondly, who is "we", in "we can devise a way"? Since when am I compelled to obey your orders? As John Gray says, it is indeed the case that humanism (here: yours, inasmuch as you censor unpleasant truths about your apparently idealised hunter-gatherers)proceeds from Christianity: your missionary zeal is, I almost wanted to write, admirable.

Thirdly, your argument concerning Keeley´s index is mere positivistic bean-counting. Firstly, his book is subtitled the "myth of the noble savage", and savages traditionally, (cf Rousseau) preceded farmers. Pastoralists, as you well know, can hunt and gather too. As you apparently possess the Keeley book, your allegations seems to be mere special pleading.

None of your fanatical reaction is however new: Keeley got refused a research grant initially, as you know, because he dared to mention warfare in a Neolithic context by mentioning "fortification ditch" or similar. Not that I am equating his Neolithic Belgian fortified farming villages with the ample Australian evidence of inter-band, inter-clan and inter-tribe/language group warfare among eg Thedodor Strehlow's Aranda hunter-gatherer people (Strehlow, "Songs of Central Australia", 1971). But as you know very well, Keeley sees that Belgian fortification as defence against residual hunter-gatherer raids.

Maybe one day you mainstream Rousseau believers will realise that your bowdlerizing (Keeley´s word)of the past, similar to your sudden collective love for Native Americans once they had been successfully suppressed, is logically unrelated to the strength or otherwise of current Aboriginal land claims in Australia, or Eskimo claims in Canada, etc. However, as one cannot fit a cigarette paper between you and what is said about their traditional hunter-gatherer past by some functionaries of those peoples, I am not holding my breath.

European colonization[edit]

This section seems problematic to me:

As the number and size of many agricultural societies increased, they expanded into lands traditionally used by hunter-gatherers and communities practicing small scale agriculture. This process culminated most recently in the European Colonization of Africa, the Americas, Australia, and Southeast Asia.

It seems to suggest that Africa, the Americas, Australia, and southeast Asia were populated by hunter-gatherers at the time of European colonization. This may be true for Australia, but definitely not for SE Asia, Africa, or the Americas. Agriculture thrived in all three, and domesticated animals in SE Asia and Africa. Certainly there were hunter-gatherers in all three, but there were, and still are, hunter-gatherers in Europe as well. The section just seems overly Eurocentric. The European colonizations are not the only example of an agricultural people spreading and colonizing regions formerly inhabited by hunter-gatherers -- cf Bantu, Austronesian people, Mississippian culture, etc. And the claim of "most recent" seems Eurocentric as well. There are plenty of non-European peoples colonizing the lands of hunter-gatherer peoples up to the present day. Pfly 23:47, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Have to agree that the charge of Eurocentrism there is fairly made; displacement of and conflict with HG societies by pastoralists, agriculturalists etc has been a feature of every milieu and time period, not restricted to European incursions.--cjllw | TALK 02:32, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Question, does the qualifier "most recently" change your opinion at all? Murderbike 00:09, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Population issue[edit]

Individual bands tend to be small in number (10-30 individuals), but these may gather together seasonally to temporarily form a larger group (100 or more) when resources are abundant.

that sounds really suspect. 10-30 individuals; even 100? How could they possibly gather enough food to support that many people? Can someone confirm this from a peer reviewed source like a textbook? I deleted it for the time being.

- Christopher 02:46, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

I can confirm this. Many hunting and gathering societies were far larger than a hundred individuals. Seasonal or intermittent population dispersion and reaggregation is a common model for prehistoric hunter-gatherers in North America, including the most of the Archaic period cultures. Also, the chiefdom societies of the Northwest Coast of the United States supported hundreds or thousands with an essentially foraging lifestyle. Although hunting and gathering IS constraining on population, especially in poor areas (where most hunter-gatherers were historically), it is not as constraining on population in resource-rich areas. High populations were also supported using only a foraging lifestyle all over the North American west coast, Florida, and the west coast of Peru as well. There is a broad literature on this and thus it probably doesn't even require citation; but do a search on "complex hunter gatherers" in Google and you'll get quite a few hits. In any case, that section you removed needs to be rewritten. TriNotch 06:55, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

There must be extensive sources concerning the variable number of individuals in hunter-gatherer societies. This seems like an important issue to address in the article. Maziotis (talk) 12:47, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Something like Dunbar's number?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar_number

Withall, it's really hazardous to generalize concerning that is worldwide and dates back to the beginning of humankind. Are numbers really useful in understanding this anyway? Kortoso (talk) 21:41, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Paragraph 3 seems to restate the material from para 2 without adding much[edit]

... I wonder if they could be merged or if para 3 could be deleted - how do people feel? Richard holt 22:38, 26 August 2007 (UTC)Richard Holt

Totally agreed. Almost all but the last sentence is redundant. Murderbike 20:13, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Sexual "parity"[edit]

Murderbike, Sorry about the weird explanation. When I went for the apostrophe, I accidentally hit ENTER. I certainly had a reason. What I was trying to type was: Fang 23, I think I see what you're trying to say, but please explain what you mean by "parity". The citations don't mean anything unless there is a specific assertion to cite, e.g. women spend much more time engaged in such-and-such activity than men spend in whatever other activity. If you can be more specific perhaps I can be more constructive in my next revision. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Losecontrol (talkcontribs) 02:24, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Awesome, thanks for the explanation. Murderbike (talk) 03:00, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Edit verification needed[edit]

Can someone look at this anon edit: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hunter-gatherer&diff=236410186&oldid=236406815

The anonymous user says that "Hunter-gatherers obtain most from gathering rather than hunting". I have it from a reliable source that the opposite is generally true (see Cordain, Loren (2007). "Implications of Plio-Pleistocene Hominin Diets for Modern Humans (PDF)". In Ungar, Peter S. Early Hominin Diets: The Known, the Unknown, and the Unknowable. Oxford, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 363–83. ISBN 0195183479. ). Also, the anon says that "The food they gather is reliable and nutricious and available, even in times of great drought." Really?? The rest of the information added looks like it was pulled out of thin air: "As such, aldouch their way of life seems inefficient, it really isn't and is besides this also effortless and simple." and "Hunter gatherer societies are very open: individuals are not stuck to the camp and can easily join in. Food is shared equally and can be taken without strings attached. The societies dough, are not overly humane: elderly or senile men are often abandoned." --Phenylalanine (talk) 23:57, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

all of those claims are going to vary from culture to culture and environment to environment, season to season. If they're not cited, and you have a cite for an opposing claim, by all means make the change. Murderbike (talk) 22:41, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Most of that information was cited, should I add the cited parts of that information back into this article?--Fang 23 (talk) 00:22, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

There's a bunch of literature on this, but it's way more complex than the anonymous person said - although very close to the general consensus in biological anthropology about the diet of humans over time. Since this article isn't properly linked to anything about biological anthropology, nutrition, tooth enamel anslysis, coprolites or any other major source of data about ancient (rather than modern) hunter-gatherers, it's difficult to just jump in and provide the requisite information.Levalley (talk) 04:35, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

It is very complex, and this article should try to give an overview. I.e. what is the range found in hunting-gathering societies, from those relying most on gathering to those relying most on hunting. It would be interesting to compare such figures across various climate and vegetation zones. A discussion of data on ancient (Paleolithic) hunters-gatherers as alluded to by Levalley is also sadly missing. The article has a long way to go. --dab (𒁳) 14:56, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

In addition, we have the unsourced "The earliest humans probably lived primarily on scavenging, not actual hunting." Let me see if I can find some anthro sources besides Cordain's diet book. Kortoso (talk) 21:45, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Mesolithic?[edit]

Wouldn't most sources say some part of the Paleolithic? Where are the sources for Mesolithic?Levalley (talk) 04:33, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

It isn't clear what you mean. The Mesolithic is by definition a period of hunting-and-gathering subsistence, obviously not taking place everywhere at the same time. The Mesolithic is the technologically most advanced stage of hunting-and-gathering before the development of agriculture, including hunting with dogs, atalatl, bow-and-arrow, canoes, etc., and I suppose most uncontacted peoples today can be said to be in the Mesolithic stage. --dab (𒁳) 14:52, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

Violence[edit]

Violence in hunter-gatherer societies is usually rare, caused by grudges and vendettas.

This seems pretty unbelievable. I wish that we could have some idea of how "rare" the statement means. Rarer than in Ancient Rome? Than 19th century Britain? Than the contemporary USA? 173.3.125.109 (talk) 02:35, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Is there in fact a controversy around the subject of violence in hunter-gatherers? Is the current point of the article really widely agreed-upon? Changing "rare" to "ubiquitous" seems pretty radical. Maybe more links than a magazine article should be added? BenGunn1950 (talk) 17:58, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

I think the problem is basically distinguishing two kinds of violence: violence within hunter-gather societies (may be rare, I don't know), and violence between tribes. The latter is ubiquitous and well-established, not just chronicled by a magazine.67.164.93.1 (talk) 08:11, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Anyway, it's unclear where the exact numbers come from: 2/3, 90%, etc. Also, it might be worth a separate section with extensive links, e.g. "Intergroup violence" or something.BenGunn1950 (talk) 15:43, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Yes there is a debate about violence in hunter/gatherer cultures. Part of this stems from disagreement with what is hunter/gatherer and what is semi-nomadic and hence subject to agricultural social norms. Added a couple of references to support the view that H/G cultures are not inherently violent. Seems that whoever added the "ubiquitous" paragraph had an axe to grind, and it made absolute claims that all H/Gs are violent and warlike when that simply can't be supported by all evidence and writers. mcheath (talk) May 5,2013

Modern H-G's versus Prehistoric H-G's[edit]

Much of the information cited here is derived from modern or historically observed hunter-gatherer societies; it's dangerous to assume that prehistoric hunter-gather socities were all exactly the same. I suggest that this should be pointed out at some point. Kortoso (talk) 19:11, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

Fishing[edit]

http://books.google.com/books?id=o1VpdrbH3BUC&pg=PA358&dq=%22hunting+and+gathering%22+fishing&hl=en&sa=X&ei=hgfTUdOjLq-xygGkhYGoCQ&ved=0CDUQ6AEwAQ

And maybe a reason early humans congregated at river? FriendlyRiverOtter (talk) 17:10, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

Diet of Early Man[edit]

Some basic sources. I haven't figured out how to integrate this. Any clues?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2175417/The-real-Neanderthal-diet-Researchers-shed-new-light-early-mans-diet--turns-ate-greens-knew-use-plants-medicine.html

The real Neanderthal diet: Researchers shed new light on early man's diet - and it turns out he ate his greens (and knew how to use plants as medicine)
  • Neanderthals ate a range of cooked plant foods.
  • Nuts, grasses, greens, yarrow, chamomile, cooked starchy foods

http://www.livescience.com/24875-meat-human-brain.html

Meat, Cooked Foods Needed for Early Human Brain
  • Meat must have been an integral, and not sporadic, element of the prehuman diet more than 1 million years ago.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/10/early-human-meat-eaters-vegetarian_n_1765521.html

Early Human Meat-Eaters Thrived As Vegetarian 'Cavemen' Died Out, Researchers Say
  • The ancestral Australopithecus consumed a wide range of foods, including, meat, leaves and fruits. This varied diet might have been flexible to shift with food availability in different seasons, ensuring that they almost always had something to eat.
  • Paranthropus, according to the elemental analysis, was largely a plant eater, which matches up with previous studies of tooth morphology and wear patterns

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120808132711.htm

Early Human Ancestors Had More Variable Diet
  • Same as above.

http://humanorigins.si.edu/human-characteristics/tools-food

New Tools, New Foods
  • "Early humans used stone tools to butcher animals by at least 2.6 million years ago."
  • "Control of fire provided a new tool with several uses—including cooking, which led to a fundamental change in the early human diet. Cooking released nutrients in foods and made them easier to digest. It also rid some plants of poisons."
  • "The earliest hearths are at least 790,000 years old. Some researchers think cooking may reach back more than 1.5 million years."
  • "By at least 500,000 years ago, early humans were making wooden spears and using them to kill large animals.
  • "Early humans butchered large animals as long as 2.6 million years ago. But they may have scavenged the kills from lions and other predators. The early humans who made this spear were hunting large animals, probably on a regular basis."
  • "More than 70,000 years ago, humans in Central Africa used some of the earliest barbed points to spear huge prehistoric catfish weighing as much as 68 kg (150 lbs.), enough to feed 80 people for two days. Later, humans used harpoons to hunt large, fast marine mammals."

http://news.discovery.com/human/evolution/human-ancestor-diet-nuts.htm

Early Humans Skipped Fruit, Went for Nuts
  • "Our human ancestors did not eat much fruit, but instead consumed a lot of root vegetables, nuts, insects and some meat, according to a new study."
  • "Australopithecus anamensis, a hominid that lived in Africa 4.2 to 3.9 million years ago"..."ate nuts, root vegetables, insects -- such as termites -- and some meat."

PS: Extensive bibliography: http://people.ucalgary.ca/~helmer/biblio.html Kortoso (talk) 22:37, 11 July 2013 (UTC)