Prehistoric Site Shows Signs Of War Between Hunter-Gatherers [VIDEO]
Researchers uncovered an archeological site that shows signs of war between two groups of war between the prehistoric humans. The site is located in Kenya, on the shore of Lake Turkana and is dating back from about 10,000 years ago.
According to the report of the discovery in the journal Nature, one group of hunter-gatherers attacked and slaughtered another. The dead were left with embedded arrow or spear points and with crushed skulls. They were scattered in no apparent order. The scientists declared that 10 relatively complete skeletons shows unmistakable signs of violent death.
The origins of war are still debated even if violence has always been part of mankind history. Some experts see war as consequence of the agricultural surpluses to be raised and the influence of hierarchical and complex human societies. Others consider war deeply rooted in evolution, based on observations of violent confrontations among chimpanzees.
The new discovery at the place called Nataruk will probably not settle this argument once and for all. However, this may be the first known massacre in a hunter-gatherers primitive society, according to online publication smithsonianmag.com.
The remains at the lake tell a tale of ferocity. The skeleton of a pregnant woman shows signs that she was killed by a blow to the head. From the position of her feet and hands, the scientists presume that she may have been tied up before being killed. One man was hit in the knee by a club and twice in the head by small spears or arrows.
Robert A. Foley and Marta Mirazon Lahr of the Turkana Basin Institute in Nairobi, Kenya and Cambridge University, together with a team of other scientists, explained in the report published in Nature that the find represents clear signs of warfare among prehistoric hunter-gatherers.
Richard Wrangham, a professor of biological anthropology at Harvard, together with Luke A. Glowacki, a postdoctoral researcher in human evolutionary biology at the same university, studied chimpanzee behavior in order to trace the evolutionary roots of human warfare.
Dr. Glowacki declared, according to The New York Times, that this new discovery proved that war was already present in human history before agriculture was invented.