In “The Roots of Violence: Scientists discover the earliest evidence of human-on-human aggression etched in an ancient skull.” (The Scientist , November 23, 2011)’
Bob Grant reports,
A millennia-old human cranium from China bears the oldest documented marks of violence between humans, according to a team of researchers who studied the find. The skull, which is likely 150,000-200,000 years old, was discovered in a cave near Maba in southern China more than 40 years ago.
A projectile is suspected as the cause, and evident healing suggests that the victim lived for “weeks or months” after the attack. The researchers suggest that this
… may indicate the existence of care and support networks among ancient humans. “They hit each other, they squabbled, they had weaponry,” Trinkaus said. “But at the same time, they were helping each other out.”
Of course, it could just as easily have been an accident. That would account for care provided to the victim.