The island of Favignana near Sicily, where remains of early Mediterranean settlers were found in a cave.
Despite a seaside home overlooking the Mediterranean, the very first human settlers of Sicily weren't seafood lovers, new research finds.
In an analysis published today (Nov. 28) in the journal PLOS ONE, skeletal remains of the people who occupied the site around 10,000 years ago show no telltale signs of seafood eating.
Instead, researchers say, these hunter-gatherers chowed down on game such as deer and boar.
These first settlers, found on the modern-day island of Favignana, which was once connected to Sicily by a land bridge, probably ate little seafood for two reasons, said study researcher Marcello Mannino, a scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany. First of all, the Mediterranean is relatively nutrient-poor — there just aren't that many fish in the sea. Second, these Mesolithic people likely didn't have the technology to do much fishing.