Nearly half a million years ago, an ancient human was murdered. With two brutal blows to the head, the attacker fractured his victim’s skull, killing him (or her). The lifeless body was then brought to a communal burial site and dropped down a 43-foot shaft into a mass grave known as the “Pit of Bones.” The remains lay there for millennia, the fact of their owner’s life and violent death lost to time.
The article has all kinds of fine details for the discerning Infocult reader, such as:
the fact that there are two direct blows makes it unlikely that this killing was anything but intentional — you don’t “accidentally” crack a hole in someone’s skull two times in a row.
“Murder is an ancient feature of humanity,” co-author Rolf Quam of Binghamton University told NPR.
It’s a sobering thought. But, lead author Nohemi Sala pointed out, we don’t know if the skull’s prehistoric owner had it coming.
The discovery of the “Pit of Bones” suggests another unique feature of these early humans: They cared for their dead. The authors of the PLOS One study believe that the 28 skeletons found in the pit could only have been placed there intentionally.
“Other humans went to the top of this vertical shaft and deposited dead members of their social group down into the site, and in this way formed a kind of primitive cemetery or kind of an early manifestation of funerary practices..."
The descendants of Cain and all Gothic gourmands salute you.