Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Suspected Boko Haram militants killed in police raid in N'Djanmena

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Is Alexis Tsipras playing with fire?

Read more

THE DEBATE

Countdown to Grexit : Will Greek crisis trigger unwinding of the Euro? (part 2)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Countdown to Grexit : Will Greek crisis trigger unwinding of the Euro? (part 1)

Read more

FOCUS

Chimpanzees suffer collateral damage from increased poaching

Read more

ENCORE!

Dom La Nena brings us international, cello pop

Read more

REPORTERS

Kenya's vicious circle: Terrorism and counter-terrorism

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

EU Competition Commissioner says 'protecting integrity of single market'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'Yemen is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe'

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)