How early humans hunted and ate their food can be a gauge of cognitive ability. It takes more strategic planning to capture large, healthy, adult game, transport it home, and butcher it than it does to scavenge what other predators have already killed.

 An Israeli cave excavated by archaeologists from the University of Haifa and Tel Aviv University has yielded a veritable banquet of remains: flint tools, a hearth, and the butchered, roasted bones of deer, gazelle, and aurochs, an extinct type of cattle. Preliminary dating of the find adds to a growing body of evidence that sophisticated hunting and food-processing skills were being practiced in the Levant region of the Middle East as early as 200,000 years ago. The next steps: to confirm the date of the site and to find fossils of the humans capable of creating such a feast.