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Evidence of a prehistoric massacre extends the history of warfare

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posted on Jan, 21 2016 @ 12:04 PM
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This is quite the disturbing find: Skeletal remains of a group of foragers massacred around 10,000 years ago on the shores of a lagoon is unique evidence of a violent encounter between clashing groups of ancient hunter-gatherers, and suggests the “presence of warfare” in late Stone Age foraging societies.





Researchers from Cambridge University’s Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies (LCHES) found the partial remains of 27 individuals, including at least eight women and six children.

Twelve skeletons were in a relatively complete state, and ten of these showed clear signs of a violent death: including extreme blunt-force trauma to crania and cheekbones, broken hands, knees and ribs, arrow lesions to the neck, and stone projectile tips lodged in the skull and thorax of two men.

Several of the skeletons were found face down; most had severe cranial fractures. Among the in situ skeletons, at least five showed “sharp-force trauma”, some suggestive of arrow wounds. Four were discovered in a position indicating their hands had probably been bound, including a woman in the last stages of pregnancy. Foetal bones were uncovered.

The bodies were not buried. Some had fallen into a lagoon that has long since dried; the bones preserved in sediment.

Source


Detail of hands of in situ skeleton. Position suggests they had been bound

I am in no way shocked that violence to this extent and manner stretches further and further back in to our history. This is both a terrific find, as well as a deeply saddening one.

I find it particularly ironic that the actions taken by another group to clear these massacred people from existence in itself has immortalized the massacred in human history.



edit on 21/1/16 by Ghost147 because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 21 2016 @ 12:09 PM
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a reply to: Ghost147

If the sharp puncture wounds were from arrows, I'm surprised no arrow tips were recovered - although they were in a lagoon and it was 10,000 years ago. It would have been nice if they uncovered some other artifacts along with the corpses, for insights into who these people were and how exactly they met their demise.

But this is an important archaeologic find. We've been slaughtering each other for tens of thousands of years ... oh the human condition



posted on Jan, 21 2016 @ 12:11 PM
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originally posted by: FamCore
a reply to: Ghost147

If the sharp puncture wounds were from arrows, I'm surprised no arrow tips were recovered - although they were in a lagoon and it was 10,000 years ago. It would have been nice if they uncovered some other artifacts along with the corpses, for insights into who these people were and how exactly they met their demise.

But this is an important archaeologic find. We've been slaughtering each other for tens of thousands of years ... oh the human condition


Actually, the article (which I just noticed I didn't link [posting now]) does mention arrow tips (or knife points)



...stone projectile tips lodged in the skull and thorax of two men.


PS: Looks like you figured out your avatar, looks much better

edit on 21/1/16 by Ghost147 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2016 @ 12:12 PM
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violent encounter between clashing groups of ancient hunter-gatherers, and suggests the “presence of warfare” in late Stone Age foraging societies.

A slaughter of a group of people (with hands tied) isn't warfare, its genocide.

And war is a crime, too.



posted on Jan, 21 2016 @ 12:17 PM
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Small wonder we're so good at it, since we've been at it so long!

Wonder if we'll ever "Grow Up" and "Grow Out Of It".



posted on Jan, 21 2016 @ 12:27 PM
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originally posted by: gspat
Small wonder we're so good at it, since we've been at it so long!

Wonder if we'll ever "Grow Up" and "Grow Out Of It".


Sounds wishful to me, unfortunately. It seems that the killing of other humans is an intrinsic part of our nature.

The only thing that may be able to stem it off for a bit is something completely insane, like an alien invasion. That level of 'extreme event' is only evidence at how self damaging we are and how little can change it.



posted on Jan, 21 2016 @ 12:43 PM
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War over political ideas is not natural, war and violence to survive is. There is a big difference imo.



posted on Jan, 21 2016 @ 12:49 PM
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Excellent find Ghost, fascinating read.
Thanks for sharing

S&F



posted on Jan, 21 2016 @ 01:33 PM
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Chimpanzee's participate in organized raids that would be classified as "war", just on smaller scales (due to population size). I suspect that this is an utterly ancient behavior for us.



posted on Jan, 21 2016 @ 02:21 PM
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a reply to: Ghost147

What? No MIC to blame it on? Horrors...



posted on Jan, 21 2016 @ 02:23 PM
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a reply to: Ghost147
Thanks for posting,
An interesting find, but it shows how researchers can be somewhat myopic, it is far from the oldest example of warfare,
A find from a little north of there



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...


A Younger Dryas War on the Nile
Given the fact that archery was extremely rare, in this time period , I would hazard a guess that the bow using people in both instances are related.

edit on p0000001k24142016Thu, 21 Jan 2016 14:24:59 -0600k by punkinworks10 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2016 @ 02:32 PM
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a reply to: punkinworks10

Very interesting, thanks for the info



posted on Jan, 21 2016 @ 02:58 PM
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a reply to: Ghost147

I read about this earlier on the news but your information is much more informative so thank you, I am not surprised by this though the find of so many and even nearly intact skeletons in a region which was then over run by predatory species is extremely rare and special.

I feel a little dirty talking like that as these were after all modern human being's in all but culture.

Still potential evidence of Homo Sapian violence goes back much, much further and I have no doubt that murder and war have existed as long as there have been familys and tribes, nation's and people's.

It is possible that in all but technology that the Neanderthals were more humane than modern humans but then again they probably warred as well since they were just another family of human's when all is said and done.
www.livescience.com...



posted on Jan, 21 2016 @ 04:25 PM
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originally posted by: intrptr

violent encounter between clashing groups of ancient hunter-gatherers, and suggests the “presence of warfare” in late Stone Age foraging societies.

A slaughter of a group of people (with hands tied) isn't warfare, its genocide.

And war is a crime, too.

You should look up the word "genocide." This is more like "familicide."

But you're right. It's not war.

Harte




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