Prehistoric Massacre In Kenya Reveals World's Oldest Human Warfare

Posted: Jan 21 2016, 1:05am CST | by , Updated: Jan 22 2016, 3:59pm CST, in Latest Science News


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World's Oldest Human Massacre Discovered in Kenya
  • Oldest Site of Murder and Mayhem found in Kenya

The oldest site of murder and mayhem has been found in Kenya. The human skulls and bones unearthed from this site prove that brutal violence took place so many years ago.

History, including prehistoric times, is an era that is bathed in human blood. We think that the world wars were times of bloodshed but actually war drums have been beating for eons.

Our predecessors killed, maimed and viciously hurt one another hundreds of thousands of years ago. Recently, the earliest massacre in history was stumbled upon. It consists of the fossilized remains of 27 individuals near Lake Turkana in Kenya.

The nomadic and primitive men whose bones were exhumed consist of 12 individuals whose skeletons are pretty much intact. Many of these showed that they had violence done to them.

There were broken bones. Blows to the skulls, ribs, hands and knees were forceful enough to have caused extensive damage. The weapons must have been blunt too.

Other marks on the bones indicated the use of stone arrows. The skulls especially showed extreme traumatic wounds. The research was published in the journal Nature.

One of the skeletons had a sharp obsidian stone tip buried in its skull. Another one had the same weapon penetrating its thoracic cavity. Since obsidian was hardly found in the region, it could be reasonably supposed that the murderous group was from outside the area.

The violently disfigured bones of eight women and six children were present too. Many of them had their hands tied together before they were killed. This was obvious from the positions in which their arms were found.

There was even a woman who must have been heavy with child. The presence of small baby bones in what was her abdominal cavity shows proof of this fact.

While the skeletons were mostly facing the ground, none of them had been given a decent burial. The scene is the earliest recorded event of extreme violence among hunter gatherers.

Carbon dating showed that the scene took place 9,500 to 10,500 years ago. The whole scenario evidently lends credence to conflict between groups.

The locus in which the violence took place was filled with greenery. There was also a small body of water in it. The skeletons were found in the sediment. Close to this there were broken shards of pottery.

Although the exact reason behind the battle which took place so long ago will never be known, the event shows that manual warfare was commonplace even in those primitive times.

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