Earliest Evidence of Warfare

Researchers from the University of Cambridge Leverhulme Center for Human Evolutionary Studies have published the findings of the remains of 27 hunter–gatherers were unearthed in a remote part of Kenya called Nataruk near Lake Turkana in 2012 —many of whom, based on the startling state of their bony remnants, died horrifically violent deaths, in this week’s Nature.  They report that the remains are estimated to be from between 9,500 and 10,500 years ago, making it the earliest scientifically dated evidence of organized human violence among scavenging humans.

This skeleton was that of a man, found lying prone in the lagoon's sediments. The skull has multiple lesions on the front and on the left side, consistent with wounds from a blunt implement, such as a club. Marta Mirazon Lahr
This skeleton was that of a man, found lying prone in the lagoon’s sediments. The skull has multiple lesions on the front and on the left side, consistent with wounds from a blunt implement, such as a club. Marta Mirazon Lahr

A related and recent post shows evidence of Neolithic violence from 6,000 years ago.

One thought on “Earliest Evidence of Warfare

  1. Interesting posts. The research is titled “Inter-group violence…” I wonder if these findings are truly indicative of violence between two groups. It could be an isolated incident of violence that occurred within a single group of people. Is there any evidence that I missed that points to an outside group striking the blow? I only wonder because of the scarce evidence of this type of violence throughout that time period.

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