Oldest murder reported in ScienceDaily 27 May 2015 and ABC News in Science 28 May 2015 and PLOS ONE, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0126589. Nohemi Sala, a palaeontologist of Madrid’s Centro Mixto UCM-ISCIII de Evolución y Comportamiento Humanos, and colleagues have found a human skull showing signs of deliberate lethal attack. The skull was found in a cave at the bottom of a13 metre (43ft) shaft known as the Sima de los Huesos, or “Pit of Bones” in the Atapuerca Mountains in northern Spain.

The skull has two penetrating fractures, each about 2cm (0.8in) wide, in the left side of frontal bone above the eye. After examining the bone microscopically and with CT scan, and applying modern forensic techniques such as contour and trajectory analysis of the fractures, the researchers concluded the fractures are consistent with two separate impacts by the same object.

Sala explained: “Based on the similarities in shape and size of both the wounds, we believe they are the result of repeated blows with the same object and inflicted by another individual, perhaps in a face-to-face encounter”. Sala went on to say, “Since either of these wounds would likely have been lethal, penetrating the brain, the presence of multiple wounds implies an intention to kill”.

The research team wrote in their report: “This finding shows that the lethal interpersonal violence is an ancient human behaviour”. The skull is dated at 430,000 years, making it the “world’s oldest-known murder mystery”.

Anthropologist Rolf Quam of Binghamton University who was also involved in the study commented: “Evidence for interpersonal violence in the human fossil record is relatively scarce, and this would appear to represent the coldest cold case on record”.

The motive for the murder is unknown. Sala commented: “Unfortunately, the intentions do not fossilise, so it is impossible to interpret the motivation of the killing”.

ABC, ScienceDaily

Editorial Comment: Interpersonal violence is certainly “an ancient human behaviour,” but unless someone can prove this skull belonged to Abel, a son of Adam and Eve, who was murdered by his brother Cain (See Genesis4:1-16) this skull is not the oldest murder in human history. That sad attribute belonged to the second generation of human being.

The specific circumstances for Pit of Bones murder may not be known, but the underlying problem will prove to be the same …. the sin which was brought into the world by the parents of the entire human race, i.e. Adam and Eve. We may not all be murderers, but God bluntly tells us the bad news that we humans are all born sinners, and all of us have the same need for a Saviour – and only one is available and that is the Lord Jesus Christ, who died to save us from whatever sin we have committed. The Apostle Paul summed this up: “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive”. (1Corinthians 15:22) (Ref. bones, violence, trauma)

Evidence News vol. 15, No. 9
10 June 2015
Creation Research Australia