This Discovery Shows Humans Have Been Killing Each Other for 10,000 Years

Article By: Julia Zorthian

The discovery may be the earliest proof of warfare.

Prehistoric Massacre
In this August 2012 photo provided by Marta Mirazon Lahr, researcher Frances Rivera, right, Michael Emsugut, left, & Tot Ekulukum excavate a human skeleton at the site of Nataruk, West Turkana, Kenya. This skeleton was that of a woman, found lying on her back w/lesions on her neck vertebrae consistent with a projectile wound. She also had multiple fractures on 1 of her hands. Writing in a paper released Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, by the journal Nature, scientists said it’s 1 of the clearest cases of violence between groups among prehistoric hunter-gatherers. (Marta Mirazon Lahr via AP)

The remains of at least 27 individuals in Kenya show evidence of violent murders that took place around 10,000 years ago & may be the earliest instance of warfare on record.

Nature Journal published the findings on Wednesday about the grisly discovery; many of the deceased had fractures & some had been tied up before they were killed. None of the dead were buried. The authors say this is the earliest extant evidence of a group of humans killing another group intentionally.

“These human remains record the intentional killing of a small band of foragers w/no deliberate burial & provide unique evidence that warfare was part of the repertoire of inter-group relations among some prehistoric hunter-gatherers,” said lead author Marta Mirazon Lahr in a statement.

The remains exhibited evidence of blunt force trauma such as crushed skulls & wounds from spears or projectiles. 2 sharp obsidian weapons that weren’t native to the area were found amongst the skeletons, leading the researchers to conjecture that the murderers travelled from elsewhere.

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