Archaeology & History
8,000-year-old fortress discovered in Siberia is thought to be world's oldest
By T.K. Randall
December 9, 2023 · 6 comments
The orange area was the site of a house pit inside the fort. Image Credit: E. Dubovtseva et al.
Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of an ancient fortress built by hunter-gatherers in Siberia's Lower Ob' region.
Known as the Amnya fortress, this primitive fortified settlement was situated on the banks of the Amnya river and predates any other known construction of its type anywhere in the world.
Excavations at the site had been ongoing for years, with previous digs revealing the presence of wooden palisades indicative of a defensive wall built around the settlement.
Evidence of additional fortifications later suggested that this had been part of a hierarchical defensive structure with a fortified inner area surrounded by an unprotected exterior section.
Stratigraphic evidence from the site also suggested that the fort had been attacked repeatedly and had even been burned down on more than one occasion.
"Through detailed archaeological examinations at Amnya, we collected samples for radiocarbon dating, confirming the prehistoric age of the site and establishing it as the world's oldest-known fort," said study author Tanja Schreiber.
"Our new palaeobotanical and stratigraphical examinations reveal that inhabitants of Western Siberia led a sophisticated lifestyle based on the abundant resources of the taiga environment."
The fact that this fort existed so long before comparable structures appeared in Europe fundamentally challenges what we thought we knew about hunter-gatherer groups during this time period.
It also proves that violent conflict was certainly nothing new even 8,000 years ago.
Source: IFL Science
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