Remains of ancient Egyptian battle victims on display at British Museum
The Great Court of the British Museum in London - REUTERS

CAIRO: The 13,000-year-old skeletons of ancient Egyptians who died in what is strongly believed to be the world’s oldest known large-scale armed human conflict, have just gone on permanent display at the British Museum in London, Youm7 reported Monday.

The collection features contents of a 13,000-year-old cemetery, 24 female skeletons, 19 males and three corpses of unknown gender in addition to the remains of 13 children.

The cemetery, known as Jebel Sahaba and located on the east bank of the Nile River in northern Sudan,  was excavated in 1964 by American archaeologist Fred Wendorf during the UNESCO High Dam salvage project, the former head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Abdel Halim Nour el-Din, told The Cairo Post.

“The skeletons show the victims had—unlike ancient Egyptians—heavy cheekbones and pronounced lips, which suggests that they were of sub-Saharan African origin,” Nour el-Din said.

Several skeletons had arrow impact marks, flint arrow fragments and flint projectile points that were embedded in the bones, he added, which indicates the victims were killed by archers and then buried by their own people in the Jebel Sahaba cemetery.

“Often with remains from such an ancient time, we will never know what happened to them,” British Museum curator Renee Friedman said on the British Museum’s website.

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