Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Tunisia's Parliament votes on new Government

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

French court rules #burkini ban "clearly illegal"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Biden in Turkey, Colombia Peace Deal, Ethiopia Olympic Protest (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Earthquake in Italy, French Burkini Ruling (part 1)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

The hidden secrets of Les Invalides

Read more

FOCUS

Pro-Opposition stronghold Port-Gentil feverishly awaits presidential elections

Read more

ENCORE!

Alexis Michalik: treading the boards in the footsteps of 'Edmond'

Read more

REPORTERS

Getting away with murder in DR Congo

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Why does Italy refuse to see the seismic risk?'

Read more

Oldest human sacrifice discovered in Africa

Latest update : 2008-02-17

A team of French archaeologists in Sudan have found what appears to be the oldest African human sacrifice. A morbid remnant from 5,500 years ago.

French archaeologists in Sudan say they have uncovered the oldest proof of human sacrifice in Africa, hailing the discovery as the biggest Neolithic find on the continent for years.

The tomb of a 5,500-year-old man surrounded by three sacrificed humans, two dogs and exquisite ceramics were exhumed north of Khartoum by Neolithic expert Jacques Reinhold and his 66-year-old Austrian wife.

"This is the oldest proof of human sacrifice in Sudan, in Egypt, in Africa," Reinhold told reporters next to the remains in El Kadada village, a three-hour drive north of the Sudanese capital.

"I don't know of another example in Africa at this level... We don't have anything as strong in other excavations in other countries," said Reinhold, as villagers in traditional white robes carefully scrapped earth into buckets.

The archaeologist, who has led the excavation for several months, described the tomb as the most important Neolithic find in Africa since the 1990s.

That period -- which Reinhold calls the first global revolution -- marks the period when man evolved from hunter gatherers into farmers and producers, forever changing the structure of human society.

He says the find is nearly 1,000 years older what many consider Sudan's most spectacular discoveries of human sacrifice -- scores of bodies buried together.

Close to the Nile and highly fertile, the El Kadada area north of the modern town of Shendi would have been highly favourable for Neolithic settlers.

Reinhold and wife Ulla met in Khartoum and lived in Sudan for 25 years where he was director of the Section Francaise de la Direction des Antiquities.

The French team said that urns, materials used to grind wheat into flour, beeds and bracelets also uncovered at the site will be donated to the National Museum in Khartoum.

Date created : 2008-02-16

COMMENT(S)