Stephen Kahn

Posts Tagged ‘ancient history’

Tabloid headlines from thousands of years ago

In Humor, Uncategorized on November 22, 2011 at 1:15 am

In ancient history news, new evidence that ancient humans beat the shit out of each other.

“A healed fracture discovered on an ancient skull from China may be the oldest documented evidence of violence between humans, a study has shown.

“The individual, who lived 150,000-200,000 years ago, suffered blunt force trauma to the right temple – possibly from being hit with a projectile.”

Before whacking the victim, the assailant cursed him (or her), shouting, “May a thousand porcupines eat your face.”

“The skull was unearthed at a cave near Maba, southern China, in 1958. Before it was buried, a large rodent – probably a porcupine – gnawed on the bone, removing a significant portion of the face.”

However, even then, humans were learning to live together in peace and care for each other.

“But the Maba individual survived for weeks or months “at least” after sustaining the injury, based on the completely healed state of the fracture. And according to Professor Trinkaus, this presents an important flip side to the latest finding.

“He told BBC News: ‘It’s another individual in a growing number of human fossils going back in excess of a million years who show long-term survival with serious injuries and congenital problems – a variety of things along these lines.’

“’We have many instances of trauma – some serious, some minor. We also have a surprisingly high incidence of conditions that occur in the modern world but are extremely rare. So the probability of finding them in our meagre fossil record is extremely low.’

“Whatever the reason behind this latter observation, he said, ‘they are surviving them remarkably well'”.

“Researchers believe such evidence points to the existence of care and support networks within ancient human groups.

“’They hit each other, they squabbled, they had weaponry – so it became serious. But at the same time, they were helping each other out,’ Prof Trinkaus explained.”

They lacked CNN and Google News, but somebody reported the story of a rumble between a couple of guys called Cain and Abel and after a few thousand years it was duly noted in a tabloid called Genesis, though the fact checking left something to be desired.