Cooperation in a time of chaos: Ancient Kenyan burial ground shows evidence of ‘social unity’

IMG
Image credit: Turkana Basin Institute

For millions of years, the Turkana Basin in northern Kenya has been a cradle of humanity.

Around 5,000 years ago, the climate there changed dramatically. The weather became hot and harsh. The lake at the basin’s center shrank to half its former size. Hunting opportunities declined, and people had to turn to herding to survive.

With their food sources dwindling and their environment in upheaval, the communities there might have collapsed into chaos. Instead, archaeological evidence suggests, people came together and cooperated.

In a study published [August 20] in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers report the discovery of a prehistoric burial ground containing the graves of at least 580 people of all ages and both sexes. There doesn’t seem to be any hierarchy in how they are arranged. Rather, nearly every one was buried with care alongside personalized ornaments: headpieces made of gerbil teeth, chains of brightly colored beads. One infant bore a bracelet made of delicate pieces of ostrich egg shells.

Related article:  Kenyan approval opens door to spring planting of country's first GMO, insect resistant Bt cotton that increases yields by 300%

“Given everything these people were dealing with — a new economic life, a shrinking lake — it’s really impressive that their response was to … invest a substantial effort in time and energy to create a lasting monument that will draw people together and create social unity,” said Elisabeth Hildebrand, an archaeologist at Stony Brook University and a lead author of the report.

Read full, original post: This ancient burial ground tells a story of unity in a time of climate chaos

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend