Oldest murder discovered by researchers

Researchers have finally found a standing example of one of the oldest crimes ever to be committed here on Earth by a human. A study was published in the science journal called PLOS One, and it pointed out that there was significant physical evidence on remains recovered from what researchers called a pit of bones and human remains. These remains had gone thousands of years without being noticed, but researchers were able to uncover one detail in particular from their findings to determine one of the most interesting facts to date.

Nohemi Sala, lead author of the study pointed out that this was “for sure” not the first murder in human history. That being said though, in terms of fossil records, this definitely takes the cake. The team was able to pinpoint that the murder took place at least 500,000 years ago, and that it easily took the top prize for oldest murder committed. That being said though, the two holes at the top of the skull beg a lot of questions.

Oldest Murder

One paleantologist on the study pointed out that, “In the fossil record, there are many cases of traumatic injury, but not a lot of evidence of killing.” This is something that’s relatively unique to the whole community. While violence was of course to be expected, murder was something that was relatively unseen in years that far back. The violence though points to something a little more specific with regards to humans.


Rolf Quam of Binghamton University points out that, “Murder is an ancient feature of humanity.” Clearly this is something that didn’t just pop up overnight. Rather this is a side-effect of humanity as a whole, and reveals the knowledge that humans had even in the earliest of days. Interestingly though, scientists also believe that this is one of the earliest forms of ritual burial that has ever been discovered.

In seeing this, they have made substantial steps toward better understanding of how humans interacted with each other at these very early times. There still isn’t a ton of evidence to suggest any specific things in a concrete way, but there is solid evidence here in terms of understanding that some of the deep rooted problems our society has today, have been around for thousands and thousands of years.