Alimentation des humains modernes (Sapiens, Neandertal)

1. Généralités
2. Neandertal
3. Sapiens au paléolithique
4. Chasseurs-cueilleurs récents
5. Depuis le néolithique



Cooking shapes the structure and function of the gut microbiome
Carmody et al.
Nature, 2019

Because cooking is human-specific, ubiquitous and ancient6,7, our results prompt the hypothesis that humans and our microbiomes co-evolved under unique cooking-related pressures.

How carnivorous are we? The implication for protein consumption
Miki Ben-Dor
Journal of evolution and health, 2019

A drastic decline in terrestrial mammals took place from approximately 500 kgs at the beginning of the Pleistocene2.5 million years ago to about 10 kgs today.
Although we are undoubtedly omnivores, the biologic evidence that was presented here claims to show that we evolved, quite early in our evolution as the genus Homo, to become highly carnivorous and that we continue to retain a biologic adaptation to carnivory. This high level of carnivory means that during a large part of our evolution our diet was high in protein besides being high in fat.

Putrid Meat and Fish in the Eurasian Middle and Upper Paleolithic : Are We Missing a Key Part of Neanderthal and Modern Human Diet?
John D. Speth
PaleoAnthropology, 2017
If such food practices were in fact widespread during the mid- to late Pleistocene, they may help account for aspects of the archaeological record that are presently difficult to comprehend, such as the ‘on again, off again’ evidence for fire use (and hence cooking) during the Eurasian Middle Paleolithic. Putrefaction also may alter the isotopic composi-tion of the diet. As meat and fish decompose, a variety of volatile compounds are produced, including ammonia. Loss of NH3, along with lesser amounts of two other nitrogenous gases—cadaverine and putrescine—would very likely leave rotted meat and fish enriched in 15N by comparison to the isotopic composition of these foods in their fresh state. Such enrichment may have contributed to the elevated values seen in many Neanderthals, values that are widely taken as prima facie evidence of Neanderthal’s status as a ‘top predator.’ Finally, if Paleolithic foragers relied upon putrefaction to prepare and store meat, archaeologists may have to rethink the way they interpret a number of widely used taphonomic signatures, including the number and distribution of cutmarks, the extent of carnivore damage, the incidence of burning on both animal bones and stone tools, and the frequency and scale of hearths, ash lenses, and other features of combustion.

Evidence for chronic omega-3 fatty acids and ascorbic acid deficiency in Palaeolithic hominins in Europe at the emergence of cannibalism
J.L. Guil-Guerrero
Quaternary science revue, 2017

hominins at the M/UP transition had a deficit of both omega-3 fatty acids and ascorbic acid. Data on human organs summarized here are also conclusive: these contain such nutrients in amounts much higher than reached in the corresponding mammal organs consumed, and thus could have been alternative sources of those nutrients for Palaeolithic hominins. Therefore, nutritional cannibalism detected at such times could have had the function of alleviating these deficits. The evolutionary advantages gained by the consumption of the various omega-3 fatty acids of human origin are also discussed.

Recent elephant-carcass utilization as a basis for interpreting mammoth exploitation
Haynes, 2015

Stature of early Europeans
When applied to the Palaeolithic-Neolithic transition, the isotopes broadly show
a diet rich in protein at the end of the glacial period, a diversification, with emphasis on fish resources during the Mesolithic, and an impoverishment during the


the amount of meat eaten decreased to about 10-20% of the Upper Palaeolithic optimum.

Dietary lean red meat and human evolution
Neil Mann
European journal of nutrition, 2000

In our own studies, we have shown evidence that diets high in lean red meat can actually lower plasma cholesterol, contribute significantly to tissue omega-3 fatty acid and provide a good source of iron, zinc and vitamin B12. A study of human and pre-human diet history shows that for a period of at least 2 million years the human ancestral line had been consuming increasing quantities of meat. During that time, evolutionary selection was in action, adapting our genetic make up and hence our physiological features to a diet high in lean meat. This meat was wild game meat, low in total and saturated fat and relatively rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA).


The exploitation of rabbits for food and pelts by last interglacial Neandertals
Pelletier et al.
Quaternary science reviews, 2019

The high frequency of rabbits in the Pié Lombard Mousterian assemblage, comprising at least 225 individuals, is unique for this period and probably reflects the location and function of the rock-shelter. The capture of such a hight number of this small mammal potentially required sophisticated acquisition techniques formerly known only from Upper Palaeolithic contexts.

Exceptionally high δ15N values in collagen single amino acids confirm Neandertals as high-trophic level carnivores
Klervia Jaouen et al.
PNAS, 2019

“Neanderthals, vitamin C, and scurvy”
John D. Speth.
Quaternary International, 2018

As a consequence, common methods of preparing meat for storage and consumption (e.g., drying, roasting, boiling) may lead to significant loss of vitamin C. There are two effective methods of minimizing such loss: (1) eating meat raw (fresh or frozen); and (2) eating the meat after it has been putrefied. Putrefaction has distinct advantages that make it a common, if not essential, way of preparing and preserving meat among northern latitude foragers and, for the same reasons, very likely also among Paleolithic foragers in the colder climes of Pleistocene Eurasia. Putrefaction “pre-digests” the meat (including the organs), making it much less costly to ingest and metabolize than raw meat; and it lowers the pH, greatly increasing the stability of vitamin C. These observations offer insights into critical nutritional constraints that likely had to be addressed by Neanderthals and later hominins in any context where their diet was heavily meat-based for a substantial part of the year.

Neanderthal behaviour, diet, and disease inferred from ancient DNA in dental calculus
Weyrich et al.
Nature, 2017

At Spy cave, Belgium, Neanderthal diet was heavily meat based and included woolly rhinoceros and wild sheep (mouflon), characteristic of a steppe environment. In contrast, no meat was detected in the diet of Neanderthals from El Sidrón cave, Spain, and dietary components of mushrooms, pine nuts, and moss reflected forest gathering2,3. Differences in diet were also linked to an overall shift in the oral bacterial community (microbiota) and suggested that meat consumption contributed to substantial variation within Neanderthal microbiota. Evidence for self-medication was detected in an El Sidrón Neanderthal with a dental abscess4 and a chronic gastrointestinal pathogen (Enterocytozoon bieneusi).

Neandertal versus Modern Human Dietary Responses to Climatic Fluctuation
Sireen El Zaatari et al.
PLOS One, 2016

Specifically, whereas the Neandertals altered their diets in response to changing paleoecological conditions, the diets of Upper Paleolithic humans seem to have been less affected by slight changes in vegetation/climatic conditions but were linked to changes in their technological complexes. The results of this study also indicate differences in resource exploitation strategies between these two hominin groups. We argue that these differences in subsistence strategies, if they had already been established at the time of the first contact between these two hominin taxa, may have given modern humans an advantage over the Neandertals, and may have contributed to the persistence of our species despite habitat-related changes in food availabilities associated with climate fluctuations.

The Neandertal meal : a new perspective using faecal biomarkers
Sistiaga et al.
PLOS One, 2014

Analysis of five sediment samples from different occupation floors suggests thatNeanderthals predominantly consumed meat, as indicated by high coprostanol proportions, but also had significant plantintake, as shown by the presence of 5b-stigmastanol. This study highlights the applicability of the biomarker approach inPleistocene contexts as a provider of direct palaeodietary information and supports the opportunity for further research intocholesterol metabolism throughout human evolution.

Plant foods and the dietary ecology of Neanderthals and early modern
Henry et al.
Journal of human evolution, 2014

Our results suggest that both species consumed a similarly
wide array of plant foods, including foods that are often considered low-ranked, like underground
storage organs and grass seeds. Plants were consumed across the entire range of individuals and sites we
examined, and none of the expected predictors of variation (species, geographic region, or associated
stone tool technology) had a strong influence on the number of plant species consumed. Our data suggest
that Neanderthal dietary ecology was more complex than previously thought. This implies that the
relationship between Neanderthal technology, social behavior, and food acquisition strategies must be
better explored.

To meat or not to meat? New perspectives on Neanderthal ecology
Fiorenza et al.
American journal of physical anthropology

Neanderthals have been commonly depicted as top predators who met their nutritional needs by focusing entirely on meat. This information mostly derives from faunal assemblage analyses and stable isotope studies: methods that tend to underestimate plant consumption and overestimate the intake of animal proteins. Several studies in fact demonstrate that there is a physiological limit to the amount of animal proteins that can be consumed: exceeding these values causes protein toxicity that can be particularly dangerous to pregnant women and newborns. Consequently, to avoid food poisoning from meat‐based diets, Neanderthals must have incorporated alternative food sources in their daily diets, including plant materials as well.

Elephants and subsistence. Evidence of the human exploitation of extremely large mammal bones from the Middle Palaeolithic site of PRERESA (Madrid, Spain).
J. Yravedra et al.
Journal of Archaeological Science, 2012.

Earliest Known Use of Marine Resources by Neanderthals
Cortes-Sanchez et al.
PLOS One, 2011

We conclude that described use of shellfish resources by Neanderthals (H. neanderthalensis) in Southern Spain started ∼150 ka and were almost contemporaneous to Pinnacle Point (South Africa), when shellfishing is first documented in archaic modern humans.

Human consumption of tortoises at Level IV of Bolomor Cave (Valencia, Spain)
Ruth Blasco, 2008

Level IV of Bolomor Cave has provided sufficient evidence to show proof of human consumption of tortoises in Later Middle Pleistocene. The use of tortoises for food appears to be quite common among the hominids that occupied the cave at Level IV. Although some exceptions do exist, these human groups follow specific patterns to process the tortoises. These patterns have been observed in the systematic use of fire to consume the nutrients from these animals. Thus, the consumption sequence of these small prey starts with them being cooked. Habitually, the tortoises are placed into the fire upside down and are roasted in its shell.

Sapiens au paléolithique

Reconstruction of the Gravettian food-web at Předmostí I using multi-isotopic tracking (13C, 15N, 34S) of bone collagen
Bocherens et al., 2015

How do you kill 86 mammoths? Taphonomic investigations of mammoth megasites
Pat Shipman, 2014

« The large number of individual mammoths and the scarcity of carnivore toothmarks and gnawing suggest a new ability to retain kill mammoths and control of carcasses. Age profiles of such mammoth-dominated sites with a large minimum number of individuals differ statistically at the p < 0.01 level from age profiles of Loxodonta africana populations that died of either attritional or catastrophic causes. However, age profiles from some mammoth sites exhibit a chain of linked resemblances with each other through time and space, suggesting the transmission of behavioral or technological innovation. I hypothesize that this innovation may have been facilitated by an early attempted domestication of dogs, as indicated by a group of genetically and morphologically distinct large canids which first appear in archaeological sites at about 32 ka B.P. »

Chasseurs-cueilleurs récents

Même avec une « much higer contribution » des plantes, les produits animaux restent à 35%, on mange tout dans l’animal, et il se peut que la contribution des insectes soit sous-estimée.

Current views on hunter‐gatherer nutrition and the evolution of the human diet
Alyssa Crittenden, Stephanie Schnorr
America journal of physical anthropology, 2017

These sources suggest that plants constitute a much higher contribution to the diet, approximately 65%, with animal products making up the remaining 35% (Eaton, Shostak, & Konner, 1988). In addition, a more recent analysis by Frank Marlowe (Marlowe, 2005; and also summarized in relation to the Hadza of Tanzania in his 2010 book, The Hadza) suggests that the median diet of warm‐climate foragers is composed of 53% gathered plant foods, 26% hunted foods, and 21% fished foods.[…]
In addition, meat consumed by foraging populations is not limited to large game muscle tissue and extends to all edible portions of the carcass—inclusive of organs, bone marrow, and sometimes even the contents of the gastrointestinal tract of the animal […] Furthermore, many populations also consume variable quantities of insects, which until quite recently were often discarded or underestimated.

Hunter-Gatherers and Human Evolution
Frank w. Marlowe
Evolutionary anthropology, 2005
Marlowe, 2005
Plant-animal subsistence ratios and macronutrient energy estimations in worldwide hunter-gatherer diets
Loren Cordain et al., 2000
Our analysis showed that whenever and wherever it was ecologically possible, hunter-gatherers consumed high amounts (45–65% of energy) of animal food. Most (73%) of the worldwide hunter-gatherer societies derived >50% (≥56–65% of energy) of their subsistence from animal foods, whereas only 14% of these societies derived >50% (≥56–65% of energy) of their subsistence from gathered plant foods. This high reliance on animal-based foods coupled with the relatively low carbohydrate content of wild plant foods produces universally characteristic macronutrient consumption ratios in which protein is elevated (19–35% of energy) at the expense of carbohydrates (22–40% of energy).

Traditional diet and food preferences of Australian Aboriginal hunter-gatherers
Kerin O’Dea, 1991

odea1991. différences aborigènes occidentaux


Why hunters gather: optimal foraging and the Aché of eastern Paraguay
Kristen Hawkes, Kim Hill, James F. O’Connel, 1982.

Depuis le néolithique

Sur la consommation de lipides, au néolithique, ici :
The Iceman’s Last Meal Consisted of Fat, Wild Meat, and Cereals

Compter et mesurer les os animaux. Pour une histoire de l’élevage et de l’alimentation en Europe de l’Antiquité aux Temps Modernes
Frédérique Audouin-Rouzeau
Histoire et mesure, 1995

Alimentation carnée au début du moyen-âge
Jean-Hervé Yvinec
Anthropozoologica, 1988

La viande. Ravitaillement et consommation à Carpentras au XVe siècle
Louis Stouff
Annales d’économie, sociétés et civilisation, 1969

L’aménorrhée de famine (XVIIe-XXe siècles)
Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie
Annales d’économie, sociétés et civilisation, 1969