Battered skeletons show evidence of prehistoric massacre
Possible proof of the earliest known incident of a human massacre by other humans has been documented in a recently published study.
The suggestion was made based on the 10,000-year-old remains of 27 prehistoric hunter-gatherers found in present-day Kenya.
The victims, which include at least six kids and eight females, are believed to have been part of an extended family.
Their skeletons indicate violent deaths which, among 10 of them, involved a smashing of the head and cheeks, sharp objects pierced into the bodies, and various broken bones.
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The position of four of the skeletons showed that their hands had likely been bound together; one of these was a pregnant woman with a late-stage fetus whose bones were also found.
The perpetrators are thought to have been a group of competing foragers.
According to Dr Marta Mirazón Lahr, one of the researchers, the massacre "may have resulted from an attempt to seize resources – territory, women, children, food stored in pots..."
Based on the evidence, the team has concluded that "warfare was part of the repertoire of inter-group relations among prehistoric hunter-gatherers."