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Scientists discover the evidence of a 6200-year-old massacre – one of the oldest

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Kamal S. has been Journalist and Writer for Business, Hardware and Gadgets at Revyuh.com since 2018. He deals with B2b, Funding, Blockchain, Law, IT security, privacy, surveillance, digital self-defense and network policy. As part of his studies of political science, sociology and law, he researched the impact of technology on human coexistence. Email: kamal (at) revyuh (dot) com

The place of the massacre is located on the territory of modern Croatia and dates back to a period of 6200 years ago. Scientists have already named it the oldest evidence of indiscriminate mass murder.

Violence on a massive scale has been common among our ancestors since at least about 13,000 years ago, as evidenced by the numerous remains of both sexes and all ages found at the Jebel Sahab burial ground in Sudan.

Evidence of such reprisals was also found in Kenya (near Lake Turkana), as well as in Europe. However, studies have shown that these remains either belong to men killed in action, members of the same family most likely to have been executed, or members of the migrant community in conflict with local groups. And sometimes those killed were participants in a religious ritual.

Evidence of indiscriminate mass murders, that is, those that are not aimed at a specific group of people or are committed with some unambiguous purpose, have not yet been found so ancient. 

The indiscriminate massacre here is understood as the act of deliberately killing a mass of people who were not ready for battle, and the massacre was committed by a group of people.

An international team of scientists, which included specialists from the Universities of Wyoming and Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Pompeu Fabra University (Spain), Archaeological Museum in Zagreb (Croatia), University of Vienna (Austria), and others, showed that mass murders seems to occur not only in our days, but probably took place in ancient times as well.

To come to this conclusion, scientists analyzed the DNA of 38 victims of the documented massacre from the massacre in Potočani, Croatia (it was discovered back in 2007, but the details of the study became known only now). The burial is a pit about two meters in diameter and one meter deep, where the remains of 41 people were found – both men and women of different ages. Radiocarbon dating has shown the burial to be about 6,200 years old.

The people who died belonged to the early pastoralist community. However, genetic analysis showed that 70 percent of the deceased were not related. 

In addition, no selectivity was found with respect to sex or age: the number of men and women is approximately equal.

This, according to the researchers, indicates that the massacre was not the result of internecine wars and similar selective assassinations. There is no direct evidence that absolutely all the people in the burial were killed. Only 13 out of 41 people were found to have head injuries. But the burial ground, according to scientists, was made at the same time. In addition, it is known that most violent deaths do not leave obvious marks on the bones, damaging only soft tissue.

The work was published in the journal PLOS One

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