Tags: oldest | murder | victim | discovered | skull | wounds

Oldest Murder Victim — 430K Years Old — Discovered in Spanish Cave

By    |   Thursday, 28 May 2015 02:37 PM

Archeologists have discovered a set of 430,000-year-old bones that could belong to the oldest recorded murder victim.

The victim’s skull was pieced back together after it was discovered in a Spanish cave, according to LiveScience. What archeologists found were two holes in the skull that had no indication of healing, pointing to the wounds as the person’s cause of death.

"Based on the similarities in shape and size of both the wounds, we believe they are the result of repeated blows with the same object and inflicted by another individual, perhaps in a face-to-face encounter," Nohemi Sala, a Madrid, Spain, paleontologist, told LiveScience. "We are not sure what the object was. However, possibilities include a wooden spear or a stone hand ax."

Sala was co-author of a study about the murder victim that appeared in the PLOS ONE journal this week.

Scientists considered whether the victim may have sustained the skull injuries from a fall but determined the formation of the wounds made that unlikely.

Another study co-author, Rolf Quam of Binghamton University, told NPR, “The fact that there are two of these fractures in the frontal bone seems to imply a pretty clear intention to kill.”

The study authors said the cause of the victim’s death had “important implications” for the site where the bone fragments were found. Located in Spain, the site is called the Sima de los Huesos, or the “pit of the bones,” in reference to numerous bones from different human species that were discovered there.

“Geological events and carnivore activity were discarded as the causal agents for the human fossil accumulation,” the journal article said. “This leaves only two possible explanations: i) accidental falls of 28 individuals through the vertical shaft, or ii) intentional accumulation of bodies by other humans through the shaft.”

Other ancient murder victims have been uncovered through archeological expeditions. Last year, an Incan mummy was determined to have died from a blow to the head, although the woman also had a parasitic disease that was affecting her heart and intestines, LiveScience said.

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Archeologists have discovered a set of 430,000-year-old bones that could belong to the oldest recorded murder victim.
oldest, murder, victim, discovered, skull, wounds
Thursday, 28 May 2015 02:37 PM
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