The ‘Oldest’ known African human sacrifice

The Neolithic revolution is a really important transition in human prehistory, one that is identified by an increase in technology. During this time people became skilled agriculturalists, adopted more sedentary lifestyles that revolved around more complex, structured city-state societies.

Not every area of the world experienced the Neolithic at the same time. It is believed that the Neolithic revolution began about 12,000 years ago in Levant, a region of the world we know now as the area occupied by Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan. As the Neolithic lifestyle radiated, we see it emerge in large settlements like, Çatalhöyük in Anatolia (modern day Turkey), by 10,000 years ago. After this moment, the Neolithic rapidly spread into Europe and Asia.

Neolithic tomb containing a 5,500-year-old manBut, for some odd reason, the Neolithic isn’t seen in Africa until much later, about 4,500 years ago. It really doesn’t make sense that we haven’t seen the Neolithic earlier in Africa, given the fact that the Neolithic originated in the Near East which is in close proximity to Africa. Furthermore, the Neolithic is also seen to begin in the Americas at about 4,500 years ago!

A new discovery in Sudan, “the oldest proof of human sacrifice in Africa,” pushes back the date of the Neolithic in Africa to at least 5,500 years ago,

“The tomb of a 5,500-year-old man surrounded by three sacrificed humans, two dogs and exquisite ceramics were exhumed north of Khartoum by Neolithic expert Jacques Reinhold and his 66-year-old Austrian wife.

“This is the oldest proof of human sacrifice in Sudan, in Egypt, in Africa,” Reinhold told reporters next to the remains in El Kadada village, a three-hour drive north of the Sudanese capital.

“I don’t know of another example in Africa at this level… We don’t have anything as strong in other excavations in other countries,” said Reinhold.”

Reinhold also reported on finding “urns, materials used to grind wheat into flour, beeds and bracelets” at the El Kadada site. Tim, of Remote Central, also covered this news too.

One thought on “The ‘Oldest’ known African human sacrifice

  1. “But, for some odd reason, the Neolithic isn’t seen in Africa until much later, about 4,500 years ago.”

    ^^ This depends on how one defines “neolithic”. Cattle domestication, pottery production and sedentism date back to the early Holocene (~10,000 years ago) in Africa. In fact genetic evidence on the y-chromsome (haplogroup E3b) indicates that the Near Eastern and SE European “Neolithic” derived in part from the spread of semi-sedentary cultures from Africa during the Mesolithic period.

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