What Was Ancient Man’s Diet Like?

The following response is from a post on another friend’s page about what was the diet of early indigenous man. Always a fun discussion.


It is difficult to make definitive statements about the diet of ancient indigenous people, as their lifestyles and diets varied widely across different regions and time periods. However, there is some evidence to suggest that some groups of ancient indigenous people may have consumed a primarily meat-based diet.

One line of evidence comes from the study of ancient human remains. For example, analyses of the bones and teeth of ancient people have shown that they often had larger jaws and stronger teeth than modern humans, which some researchers believe may be an adaptation to a diet that was higher in tough, fibrous foods like meat. Additionally, chemical analyses of the bones and teeth of some ancient individuals have suggested that they consumed a high proportion of animal protein in their diets.

Archaeological evidence also provides some support for the idea that ancient indigenous people consumed meat. For example, excavations of ancient campsites and settlements have uncovered animal bones, and other remains that suggest hunting and butchering activities. In some cases, archaeologists have even found evidence of specialized hunting tools, such as spear points and arrowheads, which suggest that hunting played an important role in the diet and economy of these groups.

It is worth noting, however, that not all ancient indigenous groups were primarily meat-eaters. Some groups, particularly those who lived in regions where plant foods were abundant, likely consumed a more varied diet that included a mix of meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods.

Conversely, there is a significant amount of evidence to suggest that ancient indigenous people, in various parts of the world, consumed a primarily plant-based diet. Here are some examples:

1. Archeological evidence: Many archeological studies have found that ancient indigenous people relied heavily on plant foods for their sustenance. For instance, studies of the remains of prehistoric humans in places like South America, Africa, and Asia have revealed that their diets consisted mostly of plant-based foods such as fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables.

2. Studies of modern-day hunter-gatherer societies: Anthropologists have studied the diets of modern-day hunter-gatherer societies, which are believed to have similar lifestyles and dietary patterns to those of ancient indigenous people. These studies have found that these societies consume a mostly plant-based diet, with small amounts of animal products.

3. Geographical and environmental factors: The availability of plant foods and the challenges of hunting and gathering animals in certain environments also support the idea that ancient indigenous people consumed a primarily plant-based diet. For example, in areas where game animals were scarce or difficult to hunt, indigenous people likely had to rely more heavily on plant foods for survival.

Overall, while the specific dietary patterns of ancient indigenous people likely varied depending on the region and time period, there is substantial evidence to suggest that plant-based foods were a crucial component of their diets.

All that to say, there is a lot of evidence for both sides of the argument. That is why the verdict is still out for me.
Good luck on your own biochemically unique journey.