More from Tell Brak, but this time evidence of a bloody massacre. As of right now the remains of 60 individuals have been unearthed at what is considered one of the oldest cities known to humanity. Mass Graves in Syria, from 5,800 years ago!The they are all mostly dismembered young adults. Field director, Augusta McMahon comments,

“…hands and feet missing and their skulls were unattached, while limb bones were found gathered in piles…

Under normal circumstances, the dead would have been buried with a certain amount of care and fairly rapidly, with grave offerings and so on.

They were mostly from their late teens through to their mid-30s… This is the healthy part of the population—not the people who should be dying.

Large quantities of broken pottery vessels along with bones from goats, sheep, and up to 200 cattle lie over the dead. This suggests the burials were marked by a huge feast, according to findings to be published later this year in the archaeology journal Iraq.

Last week, I discussed Jason Ur’s paper, which explained how archaeological evidence from excavations at Tell Brak paint it as substantial concentration of wealth and political power, perhaps something worth fighting over? He’s made a remark about this possibility,

“Given Brak’s status as one of the earliest cities in the Near East, it is not impossible that this violence was the result of growing pains—internal social conflict brought about by the processes of urbanization, an entirely new phenomenon at this early date.”

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