It turns out that plant residues are very rich in proteins and carbohydrates. In fact, stomach contents are so energy-rich that 25-year-old hunters can get all of their protein and carbohydrates for three days from a bison’s stomach.
Stomach contents were very important, especially for prehistoric people in areas where edible plants were scarce.
Also, Neolithic people did not have to expend energy on gathering plants other than hunting animals: a single prey animal provided all the nutritional needs.
Women also participated in the hunt
According to study author Raven Garvey, professor of anthropology, her research also tells us about gender roles in the Stone Age.
Experts have traditionally assumed that men hunted and women gathered, but in fact women may have participated in the hunt, as consuming the contents of the stomach made gathering plants unnecessary.
This theory is supported by discoveries in North and South America that show women fully participated in hunting large animals between 13,000 and 8,000 years ago.
“By taking into account the importance of the stomach contents of large ruminants and other unexplored food sources, we can come to new conclusions about past behavioral patterns and re-evaluate our hypotheses about evolution,” says Garvey.
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