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“Ancient Siberian Fortifications Challenge Preconceptions About Early Civilizations”

In a recent archaeological revelation, scientists have unveiled the world’s oldest-known fortified settlement, rewriting our understanding of its creators.

Ancient Fortifications in Western Siberia

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The origins of these ancient fortifications date back to their initial discovery near the Amnya River in Western Siberia in 1987. It’s only now, thanks to cutting-edge radiocarbon dating, that their true age has been unveiled.

An Astounding Age of 8,000 Years

Credits: DepositPhotos

Radiocarbon dating has unveiled that a pit house at the site, once encircled by a defensive ditch, dates back to the final century of the seventh millennium BCE, making it approximately 8,000 years old.

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Building Complexities in the Sixth Millennium BCE

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In subsequent centuries, during the sixth millennium BCE, the site saw the construction of two additional ditches along with several more structures, banks, and fences.

Perhaps the most astonishing aspect of this discovery is how it challenges established beliefs about the capabilities of our ancestors.

Hunter-Gatherers as Builders

Credits: DepositPhotos

Previously, it was commonly assumed that permanent settlements with defensive structures were the domain of Stone Age farming communities. However, the Amnya sites tell a different story.

Advanced Hunter-Gatherers

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An international team of archaeologists has concluded that these ancient structures were not the work of farmers but of hunter-gatherer groups, shedding light on their advanced societal achievements.

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A Sophisticated Lifestyle

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Tanja Schreiber, one of the researchers involved, emphasized that the prehistoric inhabitants of Western Siberia lived a sophisticated lifestyle rooted in the rich resources of the taiga, a swampy forest environment.

Resource Abundance

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The Amnya River region provided an abundant ecosystem, offering fish, birds, elk, and reindeer for sustenance.

These early inhabitants developed the skill of preserving their resources through the creation of intricately decorated pottery.

Defensive Measures

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The researchers speculate that once these hunter-gatherers realized the value of their preserved resources, they recognized the need for defense against potential raiders.

While about ten Stone Age fortified sites have been documented, featuring pit houses enclosed by earthen walls, none rival the age of the first Amnya site.

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Rewriting the Historical Narrative

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This discovery challenges the notion that complex societies required agriculture and animal farming as prerequisites.

Other archaeological examples, including the Göbekli Tepe megalith in present-day Turkey, suggest that societies did not evolve linearly from simplicity to complexity.

Diverse Pathways to Complexity

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Japhet Johnstone of the Free University of Berlin highlights that this revelation underscores the diverse pathways to complex societal organizations, emphasizing the role of local environmental conditions in shaping human societies.

Hunter-Gatherers Deserve Credit

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In essence, these findings compel us to revise our perceptions of early hunter-gatherer societies and acknowledge their impressive achievements.

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