Did Eating Meat Really Make Us Human?

Twenty-four years ago, Briana Pobiner reached into the north Kenyan soil and put her hands on bones that had last been touched 1.5 million years ago. Pobiner, a paleoanthropologist, was digging up ancient animal bones and searching for cuts and dents, signs that they had been butchered by our early ancestors trying to get at the fatty, calorie-rich bone marrow hidden within. “You are reaching through a window in time,” says Pobiner, who is now at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. “The creature who butchered this animal is not quite like you, but you’re uncovering this direct evidence of behavior. It’s really exciting.”

That moment sparked Pobiner’s lasting interest

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