25 May 2024 The Future is the Product of the Past

World’s Oldest Murder

Researchers found a mass grave in a cave in Spain, now known as Sima de los Huesos, or the Pit of Bones. When they put together 52 fragments of broken skulls, they made a surprising discovery.

No determination could be made regarding the gender or other characteristics of this skull, dating back 430,000 years. But the fractures in the merged skull showed that this person was killed.

Although it is possible that a skull, found deep in a cave, caused a fatal wound from a fall, researchers were sure that the victim was killed.

Scientists compared accidental falls and cases of inter-personal violence with modern data. They found that the only logical explanation should be a face-to-face attack by another person. They saw no evidence that the bones were starting to heal, is showing that the person died immediately or soon after being hit. The almost identical size and shape of the holes led them to believe that the cause of death was repeated blows to the head with the same object.

Researcher Nohemi Sala and colleagues identified the victim and the owners of other found bones as Homo heidelbergensis. Homo heidelbergensis is known as the ancestors of Neanderthals.

World's Oldest Murder
World’s Oldest Murder.

Thus, the “world’s first murder” occurred 430,000 years ago, during the Middle Pleistocene, when the first homo sapiens fossils appeared. The remains of the victim were found in the “Bone Pit” in the Atapuerca Mountains of Spain.

In a research article published in PLOS One in 2015, using three-dimensional analysis, they brought it together with the breaks that occurred at the time of death or after death. Skull recesses indicated that the cause of death was ‘blunt force trauma to the head at the time of death’. It seems that an attacker hit the victim at least twice with the same object. Of course, even if it was murder, it was now impossible to know who the murder suspect was.

While some scientists believe that what has been found in the “bone pit” indicates a mass murder, Researcher Nohemi Sala and colleagues noted that the results did not indicate such a situation. They noted that the area looked more like a ceremonial burial site than a crime scene, that Homo heidelbergensis had a bit of a ritual feel and did not leave the dead to rot on the ground.

Source: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0126589 you can read the full article.

Related Articles

Meaning of Agora Gate Found in Turkey’s Ancient City of Aizanoi

8 June 2021

8 June 2021

The good news continues to come from the ancient city of Aizanoi, located in Çavdarhisar district, 50 km from Kütahya....

Hundreds of oil lamps discovered in Aigai, “the City of Goats”

23 September 2023

23 September 2023

During the ongoing excavations in the Aigai Ancient City, located near the Yuntdağı Köseler Village of Manisa province in western...

An Interesting Ottoman Tradition Resembling Christmas tree: “NAHIL” OR WISHING TREE

28 December 2022

28 December 2022

Nahıl, a word of Arabic origin, means date palm. This word was later used by the people to mean the...

Rescue work begins on a 160-year-old shipwreck, the largest and best-preserved wooden shipwreck ever discovered underwater in China

3 March 2022

3 March 2022

Rescue work has begun on a 160-year-old shipwreck in China, the largest and best-preserved wooden wreck ever discovered underwater. This...

Bronze Age burial chamber discovered on Dartmoor, England

14 May 2024

14 May 2024

Excitement has been felt among archaeologists over the discovery of a Bronze Age burial chamber on Dartmoor, which may provide...

Remains of first Islamic madrassa found in Turkey’s Harran

1 December 2021

1 December 2021

The remnants of a 12th-century madrassa (Islamic institution of higher instruction) have been discovered in the archaeological site of Harran,...

“Cardiff’s earliest house” unearthed during an archaeological dig may shed light on the city’s earliest inhabitants

15 July 2022

15 July 2022

Archaeological excavation in a city park in Cardiff, the capital of Wales, has uncovered what is believed to be the...

Turkey Adds New Sites to UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

30 April 2021

30 April 2021

Two additional cultural objects have been added to Turkey’s World Heritage Tentative List, bringing the total number of cultural assets...

Unique Gold Ring and Crystal Amulet among 30,000 Medieval Treasures Uncovered in Sweden

7 March 2024

7 March 2024

In the Swedish medieval city of Kalmar, archaeologists from the State Historical Museums unearthed the remains of over 30,000 objects...

A Little-Known Civilization in the Americas Built Pyramids as Old as Ancient Egypt

26 June 2022

26 June 2022

Considered the cradle of civilization in the Americas, the Sacred City of Caral-Supe is a 5000-year-old archaeological site, situated on...

Washi papers discovered inside a 675-year-old Buddhist statue in Japan

3 February 2024

3 February 2024

The carved head of an ancient Buddhist statue hidden in the Myooin temple in Fukuyama, Hiroshima, Japan, has revealed pages...

“Urartian Royal garbage dump” was found during excavations at Ayanis Castle

3 September 2022

3 September 2022

During the excavations carried out in the Ayanis Castle, which was built by the Urartian King Rusa II on the...

Rare clay figurine found in Italian Cave dating back 7000 years

26 July 2023

26 July 2023

Archaeologists from Sapienza University of Rome discovered a figure with female features in the Battifratta cave, near Poggio Nativo in...

Shackled skeleton identified as rare evidence of slavery found in Rutland

7 June 2021

7 June 2021

In Rutland, archaeologists discovered an ‘unusual’ skeleton of a Roman slave, who might have been a criminal sentenced to death....

Ancient terracotta dancers, and musicians unearthed in China

13 November 2022

13 November 2022

Chinese archaeologists recently discovered a large group of terracotta figurines from a tomb in a group dating to the Northern...