Fractured skull shows oldest known murder
Ancient human remains found in Spain have become the oldest known fossil evidence of murder.
Scientists have determined the person was likely hit in the face twice with the same object, fracturing the skull. Because of the location of the blows in the facial region, the number of strikes, and the lack of healing before death, the team have determined that blunt force trauma was the deliberate cause of this person's demise.
This conclusion is based on a reconstructed image of the skull called Cranium 17, which was made from about 50 bone fragments found at a site in northern Spain known as Pit of Bones. The remains have been estimated to be around 430,000 years old and could be of a young adult.
The study also found that the person was likely dead when he or she was deposited at the site. This could indicate an early funeral practice since the remains of 27 others were also found there. Based on DNA analysis from an unrelated study, the bones are considered to be those of individuals from the Homo Heidelbergensis species and not modern humans.
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