We know this because: Found: Oldest Known Poop From a Human Ancestor | RealClearScience.
Archaeologists in Spain have dug up the oldest known feces from a human ancestor. Their find is detailed inPLoS ONE.
Retrieved from El Salt, an open-air site near Alicante, Spain, the samples date back around 50,000 years, firmly trouncing the previous record of 14,000 years.
Dr. Ainara Sistiaga and her team were able to identify the buried fecal matter by the predominance ofcoprostanol, a compund considered to be a clear biomarker of human excrement.
Besides advancing the quest to extend fart jokes further back into the Paleolithic, the find is important for a simple reason: if you want to know what went in, you have to examine what came out. Fossilized feces are the best clues we have for learning what our ancestors ate. The current discovery presents the first direct evidence that Neanderthals consumed an omnivorous diet of meat and vegetables.
Sometimes I’m glad I’m not an archaeologist, as interesting as the work sounds. Anyway, this seems to knock down the theories that Neanderthals were primarily meat eaters. Yet another way that they were more like us than we’ve previously thought.