Humans! We love to do war against each other. There’s what, like, 19 wars going on right now, which doesn’t even factor in the perpetual simmering tension that is our coexistence with everyone else, one threatening to erupt in global conflagration at any instance.
Really good place we’ve built here.
When was the first war, though, the first time humans saw other humans and were like, chilling with those dudes would be cool, but bashing their heads in with sticks would be even chiller?
The answer is 8,000 BCE, according to scientists at Cambridge University.
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.
The fossilised bones of a group of prehistoric hunter-gatherers who were massacred around 10,000 years ago have been unearthed 30 km west of Lake Turkana, Kenya, at a place called Nataruk.
Good stuff, humans. Kill everybody. All the time. As hard as you can.
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.
Damn. Mother fuckers did not give a shit back in the day, or now, because we act the same way after 10,000 years of evolution. For the same fucking reasons.
The findings suggest these hunter-gatherers, perhaps members of an extended family, were attacked and killed by a rival group of prehistoric foragers. Researchers believe it is the earliest scientifically-dated historical evidence of human conflict – an ancient precursor to what we call warfare.
This lagoon-side location may have been an ideal place for prehistoric foragers to inhabit, with easy access to drinking water and fishing – and consequently, perhaps, a location coveted by others.
“The Nataruk massacre may have resulted from an attempt to seize resources – territory, women, children, food stored in pots – whose value was similar to those of later food-producing agricultural societies, among whom violent attacks on settlements became part of life,” said Mirazón Lahr [who led the Nataruk study].
Welp. Glad we’ve come such a long way.