An international research team has shed new light on the diet of some of the earliest recorded humans in Sri Lanka. The researchers from Oxford University, working with a team from Sri Lanka and the University of Bradford, analysed the carbon and oxygen isotopes in the teeth of 26 individuals, with the oldest dating back 20,000 years. They found that nearly all the teeth analysed suggested a diet largely sourced from the rainforest.
Co-author Professor Julia Lee-Thorp from Oxford University said: ‘The isotopic methodology applied in our study has already been successfully used to study how primates, including African great apes, adapt to their forest environment. However, this is the first time scientists have investigated ancient human fossils in a tropical forest context to see how our earliest ancestors survived in such a habitat.’