Nature versus nurture is a subject that has been deeply debated ever since the inception of philosophy. Are we born good or evil, or is it engrained into us as we grow? A recent finding fails to answer this question, but it does reveal some pretty interesting things about the origins of human conflict, as the Nataruk remains show 10,000 year old massacre.
- This is the oldest known massacre site, showing warfare isn’t as new as we thought
- Remains of 27 people were found, including those of at least 8 women and 6 children
- The group was attacked and massacred by another group of prehistoric hunter-gatherers
- The event took place sometime between 9,500 to 10,500 years ago
- Bodies of the victims were left lying where they had fallen
A team from the Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies belonging to Cambridge University is the one that found the archaeological site, showing the remains of 27 individuals brutally attacked and killed by what was most likely another tribe of hunter gatherers roughly 10,000 years ago.
The site showed evidence of brutal murders, as the bodies of the victims were found left where they had fallen, including those of 6 children and a pregnant woman.
Research shows that the victims were killed with multiple weapons, some with arrows, others with bladed weapons – probably prehistoric axes, and others by blunt, crushing instruments.
Some of the bodies of the deceased were found in a lagoon, left there as they fell down dying, and the sediment in the water helped preserve the remains in a better state.
Not all of the bodies’ genders and ages were identified, with a few having suffered too much erosion over time for the scientists to be able to determine too much about them.
Usually, children and women were incorporated in hunter gatherer tribes in such circumstances, but in this instance they were brutally slaughtered along with the rest of the tribe.
The pregnant woman was even found to have her hands and feet bound, as well as her knees broken, while the children were found to be huddled up near the remains of the murdered women.
Evidence also shows signs of very brutal and violent attacks, as a couple of men were found with multiple fatal wounds inflicted from different sources.
The exceeding levels of violence, as well as the failure to integrate the women and children of the defeated tribe into the women tribe might suggest a different, more personal reason than just a territory fight behind the Nataruk massacre.
Image source: Wikimedia