Saint Sozy, France – GlossyNews.com French paleontologists have discovered a Neanderthal cave painting said to represent hands eagerly reaching for a Big Mac, or at least proto-Big Mac, according to the journal, Ancient Discoveries.
According to Jean-Claude Bouisquet, curator of the Museum of French Archeology, the painting was found during excavation of a Neanderthal cave encampment at La Roche-Cotard, and can be reliably dated to 25,000 B.C.
The painting — about 50 cm high and 40 cm across — depicts a pair of hands reaching hungrily for a stylized depiction of a Big Mac or similar hamburger.
“What is most striking about this painting,” says Bouisquet, “is that this is precisely the time period during which Neanderthals went extinct. One naturally wonders, Could the consumption of fast food have contributed to the extinction? As yet we simply don’t know.”
The abrupt — in archaeological terms — extinction of the Neanderthals has been a scientific mystery for decades. Some have argued that encroaching Cro-Magnons, ancestors of modern humans, hunted and even ate them, presumably devising a wide array of Neanderthal dishes in the process.
Other scientists think the Cro-Magnons mated with the Neanderthals, resulting in Cro-Magnerthal offspring, many of which can be seen riding New York City subways today.
Finally, a third (though minority) view among paleontologists is that male Cro-Magnons mated with and then ate female Neanderthals, in effect turning them into edible playmates. This theory is based on evidence in the Paleolithic record that as the Neanderthals declined in number, many of the Cro-Magnons put on weight. However a majority of scientists believe the weight gain is more likely attributable to between-meals snacking on elk and bison during cave-painting sessions.
In any event, with the discovery of a stylized hamburger painting in a Neanderthal site, together with bone and tool discoveries indicating this cave was the upper Paleolithic equivalent of a fast food franchise, all bets are off regarding the fate of the Neanderthals.
“Suddenly, a brand new can of worms, or should I say “worm holes” is open,” says Bouisquet.
“So naturally we ask: How do such dumb brutes know so much about hamburgers, eh?,” he continues. “Can it be these roughhewn cave men are, as we say, time travelers, able to visit our present-day cities and forage for food at McDonalds and Burger King?
“Can we imagine that — somehow, perhaps with the l’aide of extraterrestrials, they manage to escape Ice Age Europe and make their way through worm holes to our warmer present-day climes, probablement Arizona and Florida? And if this is true, as I myself think it may well be, then there was no extinction of the Neanderthals at all –instead what we see is the Neanderthal becoming a sort of primeval snow bunny that has migrated to the American Sunbelt along with everybody else!”