Dr. Silvia Bello said: “We’ve found evidence for defleshing, disarticulation, human chewing, crushing of spongy bone, and the cracking of bones to extract marrow” – reported by Mirror
Experts from London’s Natural History Museum examined three skulls. Each skull has an estimated age of 14 700 years. Those skulls were discovered in the Gough’s cave which is located in Somerset, England. According to the study, once human skulls were found, those were handled carefully by experts.
The only reasonable explanation for their fracturing is that previously, the skulls were used as cups for drinking. Thus, the experts concluded that the ancient inhabitants of the British Isles did not hesitate to drink right out of human skulls.
However, according to the researchers, the skulls were not used for daily drinking. It is more likely that the ancient people of the island used cups made of human skulls to conduct their ceremonial rituals.
According to a paleontologist, Silvia Bello, other cultures such as Tibetan culture and cultures in Fiji and India, have also used cups made of human skulls. She and her colleagues presented their findings in a special edition of PLOS One.
“Yes, skulls used as cups, and as the skull of the Gough’s Cave so similar to other examples, we conclude that these ancient people used them for the same purpose,” – tells the researcher.
Gough’s Cave is a historically significant place. Skeletons of early humans were found in that cave. For instance, skeleton which is known as Cheddar Man was also found in this Cave. Cheddar man was Britain’s oldest complete skeleton of a man: his age estimated to be 10 thousand years.
Human skull cups in other cultures
There were other cases where people used human skull cups for drinking.
According to Histories of Herodotus, Iranian Eurasian Nomads, who are also known as Scythians, killed their enemies and made drinking cups from their skulls.
In China, the Victors of Battle of Jinyang in 453 BC gathered bodies of their enemies and made wine cups, using their skulls.
In Tibet and India, cups made of human skulls, called Kabala, were used to perform tantric rituals of Hindus and Buddhists.
According to some historians, early cups made of human skulls were used in many ancient cultures either for religious rituals or simply celebrate their victory over their enemies.