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A Younger Dryas War on the Nile

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posted on Jul, 14 2014 @ 08:08 PM
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Roughly 13,000 years ago the world underwent a dramatic and rapid change of climate known as the Younger Dryas. Within a couple of decades the planet cooled dramatically and the ice caps that marked the last glacial maximum(lgm) advanced. 

 This change in climate pushed human and animal populations into new areas and behaviors, one being urbanization and another agriculture.

 Much of the discussion about the human effects of the YD centers on what was going on in the new world as it directly had a bearing on Clovis culture and the dispersion of humans in the new world.

 One would think that such a change would cause conflict among different groups of people, in the Sudan compelling evidence for such conflict has been unearthed.

 


Scientists are investigating what may be the oldest identified race war 13,000 years after it raged on the fringes of the Sahara.

French scientists working in collaboration with the British Museum have been examining dozens of skeletons, a majority of whom appear to have been killed by archers using flint-tipped arrows.

The bones – from Jebel Sahaba on the east bank of the Nile in northern Sudan – are from victims of the world’s oldest known relatively large-scale human armed conflict.

Over the past two years anthropologists from Bordeaux University have discovered literally dozens of previously undetected arrow impact marks and flint arrow head fragments on and around the bones of the victims.

This is in addition to many arrow heads and impact marks already found embedded in some of the bones during an earlier examination of the skeletons back in the 1960s. The remains – the contents of an entire early cemetery – were found in 1964 by the prominent American archaeologist, Fred Wendorf, but, until the current investigations, had  never been examined using more modern, 21 century, technology.







Some of the skeletal material has just gone on permanent display as part of the British Museum’s new Early Egypt gallery which opens officially today. The bones – from Jebel Sahaba on the east bank of the River Nile in northern Sudan – are from victims of the world’s oldest known relatively large-scale human armed conflict.

Now British Museum scientists are planning to learn more about the victims themselves – everything from gender to disease and from diet to age at death. The discovery of dozens of previously undetected arrow impact marks and flint arrow fragments suggests that the majority of the individuals – men, women and children – in the Jebel Sahaba cemetery were killed by enemy archers, and then buried by their own people. What’s more, the new research demonstrates that the attacks – in effect a prolonged low-level war – took place over many months or years.

Parallel research over recent years has also been shedding new light as to who, in ethnic and racial terms, these victims were.

Work carried out at Liverpool John Moores University, the University of Alaska and New Orleans’ Tulane University indicates that they were part of the general sub-Saharan originating population – the ancestors of modern Black Africans.

The identity of their killers is however less easy to determine. But it is conceivable that they were people from a totally different racial and ethnic group – part of  a North African/ Levantine/European people  who lived around much of the Mediterranean Basin








  The evidence shows that the conflict was a long term event and not a one time raid. 

 

The fact that the people were buried in a cemetery shows that a certain level of urbanism had taken hold, people were committed to living in a certain place. 

 



The two groups – although both part of our species, Homo sapiens – would have looked quite different from each other and  were also almost certainly  different culturally and linguistically. The sub-Saharan originating group had long limbs, relatively short torsos and projecting upper and lower jaws along with rounded foreheads and broad noses, while the North African/Levantine/European originating group had shorter limbs, longer torsos and flatter faces. Both groups were very muscular and strongly built.

Certainly the northern Sudan area was a major ethnic interface between these two different groups at around this period. Indeed the remains of the North African/Levantine/European originating population group has even been found 200 miles south of Jebel Sahaba, thus suggesting that the arrow victims were slaughtered in an area where both populations operated.

What’s more, the period in which they perished so violently was one of huge competition for resources – for they appear to have been killed during a severe climatic downturn in which many water sources dried up, especially in summer time.

The climatic downturn – known as the Younger Dryas period – had been preceded by much lusher, wetter and warmer conditions which had allowed populations to expand. But when climatic conditions temporarily worsened during the Younger Dryas, water holes dried up, vegetation wilted and animals died or moved to the only major year-round source of water still available – the Nile.

Humans of all ethnic groups in the area were forced to follow suit – and migrated to the banks (especially the eastern bank) of the great river. Competing for finite resources, human groups would have inevitably clashed – and the current investigation is demonstrating the apparent scale of this earliest known substantial human conflict .

The skeletons were originally found during UNESCO-funded excavations carried out to investigate archaeological sites that were about to be inundated by the Aswan High Dam. All the Jebel Sahaba material was taken by the excavator Fred Wendorf to his laboratory in Texas, and some  30 years later was transferred to the care of the British Museum which is now working with other scientists to carry out a major new analysis of them.


 This cycle of violence is attested to in other places at the same time as human populations struggled to survive.


www.independent.co.uk...



 




posted on Jul, 14 2014 @ 09:16 PM
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a reply to: punkinworks10

That's just phenomenal. I almost cried though when i opened the article and found no pictures of arrowheads, sniff.

If they come across a reasonably well preserved bow there i'll probably have a fit and need a cold shower and sedatives.



posted on Jul, 14 2014 @ 10:53 PM
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That is pretty amazing. The title of the article in the Independent was a bit sensational, "Saharan remains may be evidence of first race war, 13,000 years ago"

skalla, you might appreciate the images on Aggsbach's Paleolithic Blog.



posted on Jul, 15 2014 @ 12:57 AM
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a reply to: punkinworks10

Those interested in battlefield archaeology may wish to view sites dealing with the battles of Visby and Towton.

The Battle of Visby was in 1361 and several hundred bodies with armor still attached were found.

Towton was fought 100 years later and had 28-30,000 dead and numerous burial pits.

Towton

Visby



posted on Jul, 15 2014 @ 06:02 AM
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Wow, a race war in 11,000BC.

Humans haven't changed much have they?

Anyway this is still a really good excavation, it is nice to see the British museum having involvement with something closer to the fringes of archaeology too.

Nice thread!



posted on Jul, 15 2014 @ 06:37 AM
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originally posted by: DodgyDawg
Wow, a race war in 11,000BC.


Just for comparison to 11,000 year old figure for this "war". Sphynx is older than than the first pharoah, more than 12,000 years old thousand years old.

www.youtube.com...

Also at 17:15

www.youtube.com...

Thread on it - more than 12,000 years old:
www.abovetopsecret.com...

Just throwing this out there since they talk about climate change and water - which is the basis for the theory of the new Sphinx dates.
edit on 15-7-2014 by igor_ats because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 27 2014 @ 04:55 AM
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klik both vids pls.

And lets remember that some early Kenyans although having tropical body plans have the facial morphology of Swedes
I am not sure about this ancient "race" war bit and it's kinda miss leading imo and that a bio anthropologist would used such terms,however the remains of some of the bodies according to the report was at-least partially cold adapted,but the faces were flatter? while the Saharans were more oval and bodies tropically adapted.


The sub-Saharan originating group had long limbs, relatively short torsos and projecting upper and lower jaws along with rounded foreheads and broad noses, while the North African/Levantine/European originating group had shorter limbs, longer torsos and flatter faces. Both groups were very muscular and strongly built.


The non Saharans could very well represent the Natufians doing a back migration from their place of origins although looked some what different, and perhaps introduced small cattle like goats and sheep, in another thread I posted the probable origins of the these early Levantines the below is a first description of them.



BONES OF CANNIBALS A PALESTINE RIDDLE
Wireless to THE NEW YORK TIMES.
New York Times 1857; Aug 4, 1932; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2003)
pg. 21


Negroid people of 5000 B. C.
ATE BODIES OF ENEMIES
Men, Short of Stature, Burned Bones of Dead After Burial, London Session Hears.
TEETH OF WOMEN DRAWN
Linking relics to Burnt Skeletons from Ur scientist speculate an old cremation custom.

Seven or eight thousand years ago in what geologist call modern times a race of negroid cannibals lived In Palestine, burned the bones of their dead after burial, and devoured the bodies of their enemies.
Skulls and thighbones of this race were unearthed within the last four years, first at Shukbah near Jerusalem and later in caves at Mount Carmel, and because they puzzled the excavators who found them they received the new name “Natufians.”

Today the first authoritative account of them was given by Sir Arthur Keith to the congress of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences and showed them to be one of the greatest riddles of archaeology.

They were clearly a Negroid people, said Sir Arthur, with wide faces flat- noses and long large heads.


They were short of stature 5 feet 3 or 4 inches tall-and their thighs and legs were remarkably strong.

While their arms and shoulders were weak.

Alone Among prehistoric peoples they had a custom of extracting the two upper central incisor teeth of their women.

Jagged holes in the fronts of their skulls indicate that they ate human brains.


They may have been ancestors or the Arabs or Semites of biblical times, in Sir Arthur's opinion.

They had some facial characteristics like those of the Neolithic or late Stone Age men of Malta and the remoter Aurignacian men of Southern Europe.


Natufian remains, it should be remembered, are in no way connected with the more recent discoveries of a new race of fossil men, also in caves, near Mt Carmel. The fossil men, so remarkably different from all others yet found, became extinct in the remotely distant past, while the Natufians may still have been living when the first city-states of Sumeria arose.


Sir Arthur based his conclusions today on twenty comparatively complete skulls of eighty-seven found by Miss Garrod.

Cites Features of Race

“Several features stand out quite definitely'' he asserted; first the Natufians were a long-headed people - they had cap-shaped occiputs (the lower back part of the head).

Secondly, the dimensions or their heads were greater than in the pre-dynastic Egyptians.

Thirdly, their faces were short and wide. Fourthly, they were prognathous (with projecting jaws). Fifthly, their nasal bones were not narrow and high, but formed a wide, low arch.


Sixthly, their chins were not prominent, but were masked by the fullness of the teeth-bearing parts of the jaw.


“The Natufians at Shukbah seem to have practiced cannibalism, for it is only by making this supposition that one can explain the cutting and fracturing of bones. The characters of the cuts and the broken surfaces show the bones were still in a fresh state when the damage was done. I believe the Shukbah people ate human brains.”


The cannibalism theory was strongly disputed by Professor Elliott smith, eminent geologist, who said he was entirely skeptical of it.

Also Professor Smith said it was not uncommon in Egypt to find burned bones in graves.




Anthropologist C. Loring Brace in a recent study on cranial metric traits however, was also able to identify a "clear link" to Sub-Saharan African populations for early Natufians based on his observation of gross anatomical similarity with extant populations found mostly in the Sahara. Brace believes that these populations later became assimilated into the broader continuum of Southwest Asian populations.


Disregard the claimed about Cannibalism they put that out there because of the teeth filings.

The Natufian Culture in the Levant,
Threshold to the Origins of Agriculture
OFER BAR-YOSEF

www.columbia.edu...
Klik^ here for more detailed info
Who Were The People Of Göbekli Tepe
www.abovetopsecret.com...
An earlier thread of mine.
Although some may disagree I believe that the Levant is but an extension both geographically,biologically and sometimes culturally with the continent called Africa.
edit on 27-7-2014 by Spider879 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 29 2014 @ 10:08 AM
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a reply to: Spider879
Hey there spider,

They were clearly a Negroid people, said Sir Arthur, with wide faces flat- noses and long large heads.


They were short of stature 5 feet 3 or 4 inches tall-and their thighs and legs were remarkably strong.

While their arms and shoulders were weak.


That passage struck a cord, as it could very well describe the people living here in central California at the same time period, although these people were certainly not negroid.
I don't know much about the natufians, but might they have been a waterside, lakes or river , people?, as this general body plan is found among waterside paleolithic people. The short powerful legs are for wading and large heads may have helped in diving, at least there are a group of anthropologist think so.



posted on Jul, 29 2014 @ 10:53 AM
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originally posted by: punkinworks10
a reply to: Spider879
Hey there spider,

They were clearly a Negroid people, said Sir Arthur, with wide faces flat- noses and long large heads.


They were short of stature 5 feet 3 or 4 inches tall-and their thighs and legs were remarkably strong.

While their arms and shoulders were weak.


That passage struck a cord, as it could very well describe the people living here in central California at the same time period, although these people were certainly not negroid.
I don't know much about the natufians, but might they have been a waterside, lakes or river , people?, as this general body plan is found among waterside paleolithic people. The short powerful legs are for wading and large heads may have helped in diving, at least there are a group of anthropologist think so.



Well the ancestors of these guys came up from the Sahara which was fill with rivers and lakes Chris Ehret seemed to think they might have had Nile Valley connections,but they also have cold adapted body plans perhaps owning to the fact that they moved in on another group in the Levant.



Ehret: One of the archaeological possibilities is a group called the Mushabaeans. This group moves in on another group that's Middle Eastern. Out of this, you get the Natufian people. Now, we can see in the archaeology that people were using wild grains the Middle East very early, back into the late glacial age, about 18,000 years ago. But they were just using these seeds as they were. At the same time, in this northeastern corner of Africa, another people ­ the Mushabaeans? ­ are using grindstones along the Nile, grinding the tubers of sedges. Somewhere along the way, they began to grind grain as well. Now, it's in the Mushabian period that grindstones come into the Middle East.
worldhistoryconnected.press.illinois.edu...


So when there was ecological stress in the Levant some of these folks back migrated into the Sahara and had conflicts with folks who were most likely part of their own more recent ancestors.
I really wished they do away with nonsense terms like Negroid,Caucasoid and the like as it tends to give false impressions to the layman with modern concept of "Race" and all that it implies,as was said earlier ancient Kenyans by facial morphology fit the bill for Swedes,how ever calling them Caucasian or Caucasoid would be misleading as they developed entirely in Africa,just as calling a New Guinean or Solomon Islander Negroid/Negro.
This was no race war not even in the modern social context, a Somali and an Akan can battle it out both have different features "sometimes" but that does not make them races.
edit on 29-7-2014 by Spider879 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 29 2014 @ 11:26 AM
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Those terms ( Negroid,Caucasoid & Mongoloid) are no longer current and are 19th century attempts at quantification..

They may still be used at times by Physical Anthropologist to describe a range of skeleton features.

We have a fairly recent Anthropology major around here named something like Planterz or some such perhaps they could comment



posted on Jul, 29 2014 @ 04:01 PM
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a reply to: punkinworks10

I think that 'race war' is a little over dramatic, the evidence suggests that the conflict had more to do with competition for resources based on reduced territory. Between around 20,000 BC and 12,500 BC the White Nile's exit from Lake Victoria was blocked by sand dunes. A sudden and rapid increase in temperatures and rainfall, during the late glacial interstadial period, coupled with increased forestation of the East African highlands, lead to a decrease in soil erosion, and therefore sedimentary deposits, resulting in a huge increase in the amount of water moving from that region. The White Nile broke through the dune dam cutting away deposits of sediment built up since the last Glacial maximum. The effect was, evidently, devastating to the woodlands and marshes of the flood plains that had supported several groups previously in a riparian lifestyle, and competition for camps and hunting grounds became very intense. Between 12,000 and 7,000 BC the area was almost entirely depopulated, as a result archaeology from this period is like rocking horse poop.



edit on 29-7-2014 by KilgoreTrout because: comma...a missing one



posted on Jul, 29 2014 @ 04:11 PM
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a reply to: KilgoreTrout
Your absolutely right, it was about competition for resources, and you'll notice I didn't use that term in my title. But it would be easy to see how people who looked very different from each other would come into conflict of said resources.



posted on Jul, 29 2014 @ 04:20 PM
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a reply to: punkinworks10

Of course. I also think that there is some argument that peoples tend to emphasize their differences in anticipation of conflict. It helps, makes killing easier.



posted on Jul, 29 2014 @ 04:55 PM
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Not just competition for resources but the realization that it was easier to steal food and other items from others than to do the work yourself.

Additional some people(s) like war and see it as sport and entertainment.



posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 10:20 AM
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a reply to: Hanslune
Last night I did a little more research into the jebel sahaba site materials. What I found was sparce and usually tidbits in blogs and point collector forums.
But I did find a drawing of the jebel sahaba points.


Item a is a mounted backed bladelet, d is a klassies river points 140k yo, e is a howies poort points 80kyo , f and g are jebel sahaba.
Notice how there is an apparent lithic tradition present, the points in eastern Africa and southern Africa didn't change much in 100k years.
Those are African points in African remains, so I'm calling BS on the whole "race war" moniker. Just like as was pointed out in California , the conflict was between related groups.
The lithics of the proposed European/levantine/north African people were very different.
Also in one discussion, it was noted that one set of remains had more than 100 points imbedded in it. 100, that's not warfare between unrelated people, that's something personal, done by the community.
The catalogue of injuries is also very consistent, arrow wounds to the torso, and lower head and neck, not much sign of blunt force trauma or brokenn bones , both hallmarks of combat violence.
These people were executed by their own for some reason.

edit on 30-7-2014 by punkinworks10 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 12:59 PM
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a reply to: punkinworks10

Excellent I would agree based on the limited information you provided. i would suggest contacting the British Museum and determining who is running that extension project and let them know your findings and ask if they have considered that.

feedback@britishmuseum.org



posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 06:15 PM
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a reply to: Hanslune


Hey Hans ,
Thanks for the emal address, and I think I will contact them.



posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 10:03 PM
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Nice roundup guys.



posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 10:37 PM
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This sort of thread is the reason that I enjoy coming to ATS - I often learn something that I never would have known. I have a layman's interest in archaeology and stone age culture. Thanks for sharing. S&F



posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 04:32 PM
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originally posted by: Hanslune
a reply to: punkinworks10

Excellent I would agree based on the limited information you provided. i would suggest contacting the British Museum and determining who is running that extension project and let them know your findings and ask if they have considered that.

feedback@britishmuseum.org


I would also suggest that you contact Professor Angela Close at the University of Washington, she is perhaps the foremost expert on the burials at the Jebel Sahaba site and has done extensive comparisons of burials across the region.

depts.washington.edu...






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