5-speed listening (World's First War - Level 6)

World's 'first war' was in Sudan 13,400 years ago



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A new study has led archaeologists to believe that the world's first war was in Sudan. Researchers from France and the UK have re-examined 61 human skeletons from a site at Jebel Sahaba in the Nile Valley in Northern Sudan. The skeletons are 13,400 years old and were uncovered in the 1960s. For decades, scientists believed the millennia-old humans were killed in a one-off massacre. New research on injuries sustained by the early humans revealed that they were killed during a longer war that took place over several years. The skeletons are now regarded as evidence of the earliest example of organized warfare between humans. Furthermore, the war was probably triggered by climate change.

The researchers conducted a deeper investigation into injuries on the skeletons found at Jebel Sahaba. The scientists said the injuries were as a result of weapons such as arrows and spears. They were likely sustained during a series of conflicts or battles over several decades. The researchers believe conflicts arose as rival tribes competed for food and water that were in limited supply because of dramatic changes in climate 11,000 to 20,000 years ago. At this time, ice covered a lot of the Northern Hemisphere. This caused flooding and major changes to the availability of farmland. A researcher said: "These changes were not gradual at all. People had to survive these changes, which were brutal."

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