French archaeologists have suggested that climate change in the Nile Valley could lead to bloody battles and massacres. This is indicated by the fact that the participants of not one battle, but a whole series of violent clashes are buried in the ancient burial ground of Jebel Sahab. This is reported in an article published in Scientific Reports.
Researchers reanalyzed the remains and found traces of a variety of non-fatal injuries. A quarter of skeletons belonging to hunter-gatherers have been found to have healed wounds, indicating repeated periods of violence 13,400-18,600 years ago. Most of the injuries were caused by throwing weapons such as arrows and spears. Thus, the conflicts were intergroup, and did not occur within the group.
Since men, women and children were buried in the same way, the authors of the article believe that the violence was caused by clashes or raids. This time coincides with the end of the last ice age, when the eastern part of the Sahara Desert became arid and less habitable for humans. There were only a few places left suitable for human life, but they quickly filled with hunter-gatherers, after which competition for resources intensified.
When the mass grave was first discovered in the 1960s, archaeologists believed it was evidence of just one battle.