Many millenniums ago, a site in Kenya that is over 10,000 years old saw a deadly battle that killed probably all of its members. Some Researchers have just discovered this site.
Contained in the site are skeletons belonging to a group of prehistoric hunter-gatherers who were allegedly slaughtered gruesomely around 10,000 years ago. This site is said to be around 30km west of Lake Turkana in Kenya, at a place called Nataruk.
The found fossils are made up of bones and remains of about 27 people, 10 of which experienced some unbelievably disturbing injuries.
The discovery is credited to Researchers from Cambridge University’s Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies and they claim the partial fossils of the 27 individuals found include at least eight women and six children who were brutally massacred.
The 27 skeletons spread out by the shores of a lagoon feature crushed skulls, mutilated hands, crumpled knees, fractured ribs, brutally injured cheekbones and crania, skulls harrowed with protruded stones and even neck punctured by arrow.
Overall, 12 of the skeletons were in a somewhat complete state, ten showed clear evidence of violent death; some were found face down, 4 were tied up including one seemingly newly married woman in her last stages of pregnancy.
The mass butcher which took place about 10 millenniums ago has no evidence of any planned burial, thus indicates the earliest brutal killing between prehistoric hunter-gatherers.
The study, published in Nature, suggests only one explanation for the mass deaths at Nataruk: ancient human warfare or conflict.
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The findings suggest these hunter-gatherers, probably members of an extended family, were ambushed by enemies who might have embarked on a long journey to the location to steal their resources; food and animals.
The weapons found at the site of the massacre including clubs and multiple weapon types indicate that some enemies deliberately massacred the hunter-gatherers as the tribe wouldn’t have used such deadly weapons on a simple resource hunt.
Also, the victims, being hunter-gatherers, go to different areas in search of food. But if one particular area had enough resources, the members would have likely remained there while other tribes see them as the best spot for hunting – sometimes could lead to mass killing.
Given that Nataruk was blessed with a vast range of animals – Harpoons were discovered in the area – the victims apparently were engaging in intensive fishing farming and hunting. And this might have caused their rival to kill and rob their resources. This is backed with the the fact that situations of war often arise in relation to the need to possess something (strike and steal).
Apart from discovering clubs, and the obsidian arrowheads – an exotic, volcanic glass at the war site which explains that the killing was for hunting purposes, another suggestive of evil possibility is that the attackers might have been after young people, the Researchers suggest.
The demographic profile of the dead shows that besides one 12-year-old girl, none of the individuals were between the ages of six and 20. They possibly stomped the area to hold children in captives.
When fertility rates are low, or when the population size is low, children from other tribes were valuable targets for theft.
The weapons used were not used in hunting prey at that time, so the cruel execution entails war. Plus in the past, individual fatal injuries to humans dating from this time have been excavated. However the fact that the skeletons were all found together indicated that something more evil-intentioned or malicious than a single murder took place.
The massacre happened about ten mellineums ago and has sparked several arguments, yet we can get clear picture of what the dead must have gone through.
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