Over 430,001 years ago, a murder occurred in Northern Spain. Well, at least a suspected one. In the cave system Sima de los Huesos, translated in English to Pit of Bones, scientists found a skull with many injuries.
The Pit of Bones is only accessible through a long hole that is 45 feet below the ground. In it, 50 bone fragments that formed a nearly complete skull were found. The skull likely belonged to a hominid, which is an extinct, human-like relative of the gorilla, chimpanzee, and orangutan.
After scientists reconstructed the skull, it was found that the victim's head had two identical lesions above the left eye. Based on the findings, researchers hypothesized that the hominid was hit in the head repeatedly with one tool.
Dr. Rolf M. Quam, a paleoanthropologist at Binghamton University, stated that, “either one of them could have been lethal, because they would have penetrated the brain. The fact that there were two fractures seems to imply an intention to kill.”
The Pit of Bones was discovered in 1997, and it dates as far as the Middle Pleistocene. Since it has been discovered, over 50,000 partially fossilized bones have been collected. Researchers have put over 17 skulls together. They even had enough skull fragments to know that at least 28 people were buried there.
Dr. Quam said, “This is one of the earliest examples of burial sites that we have. It may have functioned as an early cemetery where they basically just threw the bodies down this shaft.”
The discovery of this early murder was a groundbreaking archeological finding. Who knows what other mysteries will come from the infamous Pit of Bones.
The New York Times