Fri, Jan 22, 2016 - Page 6 News List

Evidence of ancient warfare found at Kenyan fossil site

Reuters, WASHINGTON

Scientists on Wednesday said in a report that they had found the oldest evidence of human warfare, fossils of a band of people massacred by a troop of attackers with weapons including arrows, clubs and stone blades on the shores of a lagoon in Kenya.

The remains of 27 people from were unearthed at a site called Nataruk about 30km west of Lake Turkana in northern Kenya, the report said.

One man’s skeleton was found with a sharp blade made of a volcanic glass called obsidian still embedded in his skull. Another man had wounds from two blows to the head apparently with a club, crushing his skull. A woman in the last stages of pregnancy appeared to have been bound by her hands and feet, it said.

University of Cambridge paleoanthropologist Marta Mirazon Lahr said evidence indicates these people were slain in a premeditated attack by raiders.

“It is a brutal, physical, lethal attack with the intention to kill those individuals who could put up a defense or mount a counterattack, or who perhaps were of no use to them, whether it was a man or a very pregnant woman, too young or too old,” Mirazon Lahr said.

There were remains of 21 adults and six children, most estimated at under age six. There were no older teenagers.

The research appeared in the journal Nature.

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