GRISLY human remains of ancient farmers who worked in one of the world’s driest deserts have been examined as part of a new study.
The battered skeletons were found in the Atacama Desert in modern day Chile and date back 3,000 years.
The skeletons are eerily preserved due to dry conditions[/caption]
Lethal wounds could be seen on some of the skulls[/caption]
The brutal conditions of their dry work place weren’t the only thing they had to deal with though.
The skeletons show how the farmers lived in a time of social tension that led to violence and murder.
The researchers write in their study: “The emergence of elites and social inequality fostered interpersonal and inter- and intra-group violence associated with the defense of resources, socio-economic investments, and other cultural concerns.
“This study evaluated violence among the first horticulturalists in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile during the Neolithic transition between 1000 BCE – 600 CE. Furthermore, it analyzed trauma caused by interpersonal violence using a sample of 194 individuals.”
The 194 skeletons investigation were all adult and came from ancient cemeteries in the desert’s Azapa Valley.
Most read in News
This was said to be one of the richest and most fertile valleys that the ancient farmers could have been based in.
The skeletons are creepily well preserved because of the dry conditions and some even have soft tissue and hair.
Around 21% of the skeletons also showed evidence of “interpersonal violence”.
This includes skull holes and fractures that would have caused extreme pain.
Around 10% likely died from lethal blows.
Weapons like maces, sticks and arrows could have caused the trauma.
The researchers write: “Some individuals exhibited severe high impact fractures of the cranium that caused massive destruction of the face and neurocranium, with cranio-facial disjunction and outflow of brain mass.”
The fights could have been over land, water and resources.
The full study findings can be found in the in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology.
The farmers could have been fighting over land and resources[/caption]
194 skeletons were studied for the research[/caption]
- Read all the latest Phones & Gadgets news
- Keep up-to-date on Apple stories
- Get the latest on Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram
Find out more about science
Want to know more about the weird and wonderful world of science? From the Moon to the human body, we have you covered…
- When is the next Full Moon?
- What is a Super Moon?
- What is SpaceX?
- Where is the edge of space?
- How many bones are in the human body?
- How many chromosomes do humans have?
- What causes a volcano to erupt?
- Which sharks attack the most humans?
- What are the conspiracy theories about the world ending?
- All the UFO sightings and whether aliens are real
- Which country has the most earthquakes?
In other archaeology news, a ship that sank after it was hit by gigantic stone blocks following an earthquake 2,200 years ago has been found in Egypt.
New analysis of the remains of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh has revealed he may have been brutally murdered on the battlefield.
And, human skeletons have been discovered on a 1717 pirate shipwreck just off the coast of Cape Cod in the US.
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Tech & Science team? Email us at [email protected]