Inter-group violence among early Holocene hunter-gatherers of West Turkana, Kenya
Mirazón, Lahr M
Maillo, Fernandez JM
Van, Baelen A
Nature Publishing Group
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Mirazón, L. M., Rivera, F., Power, R., Mounier, A., Copsey, B., Crivellaro, F., Edung, J., et al. (2016). Inter-group violence among early Holocene hunter-gatherers of West Turkana, Kenya. Nature, 529 394-398. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature16477
The nature of inter-group relations among prehistoric hunter-gatherers remains disputed, with arguments in favour and against the existence of warfare before the development of sedentary societies. Here we report on a case of inter-group violence towards a group of hunter-gatherers from Nataruk, west of Lake Turkana, which during the late Pleistocene/early Holocene period extended about 30 km beyond its present-day shore. Ten of the twelve articulated skeletons found at Nataruk show evidence of having died violently at the edge of a lagoon, into which some of the bodies fell. The remains from Nataruk are unique, preserved by the particular conditions of the lagoon with no evidence of deliberate burial. They offer a rare glimpse into the life and death of past foraging people, and evidence that warfare was part of the repertoire of inter-group relations among prehistoric hunter-gatherers.
biological anthropology, archaeology
Funding was provided by a European Research Council Advanced Award to M.M.L. (IN-AFRICA, ERC 295907), the Newby Trust, and the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge.
European Research Council (295907)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/nature16477
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/253726