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Archaeology & History

8,000-year-old fortress discovered in Siberia is thought to be world's oldest

By T.K. Randall
December 9, 2023 · Comment icon 6 comments
8,000-year-old fort in Siberia.
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 | Comments (6)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Eldorado 3 months ago
Research paper...... The world's oldest-known promontory fort: Amnya and the acceleration of hunter-gatherer diversity in Siberia 8000 years ago Cambridge University Press
Comment icon #2 Posted by pellinore 3 months ago
It is really interesting. Evidence of a complex society 4 thousand years before the Egyptian civilization, which was 2 thousand years before the Greek civilization, which reached its peak only after another 2.5 thousand years (the Golden Age of Pericles of 500 BC). Then we had the Roman Empire around 2 thousand years ago, they disappeared about 500 years AD. Then the Dark Ages, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, then the Agrarian Revolution (15th century) and Industrial Revolution (17th century onwards). Then in the 20th Century we had manned flight, electric power, the internal combustion engi... [More]
Comment icon #3 Posted by Nosy.Matters 2 months ago
SHEEZE! that's a long time ago. Fishing hole ? well yeah can see that like Grizzly. Be it, a bit more polished or refined defenses. Fire and Ice flic/film or ? that like 1968 released .... like ?2001 : A Space Odyssey comes to mind. ((the first part ) Thanks for the post, nice and wow 60,000 years back, theN some others fixed it up again 750 ~ eeehrm ~ 550 B.C. SWEET ! And maybe the fishing hole  just wasn't so hot after that.        . . ,  . --nosy
Comment icon #4 Posted by Earl.Of.Trumps 2 months ago
quite cool, 8 thousand years ago.  And as scarce as homo sapien life was at that time, you would not figure them to be warring with each other. but they were! maybe they battled neanderthal or on 2nd thought, maybe they *were* neanderthal
Comment icon #5 Posted by Poncho_Peanatus 2 months ago
not Neanderthals, they vanished around 60.000y ago. Probably this was due to oppose steppe tribes raiding local settlements
Comment icon #6 Posted by Jaded1 2 months ago
Neanderthals actually held out until around 40000 years ago. There was a place in the Iberian Peninsular where they were though to have held out until 20 odd thousand years ago, but apparently this has now been ruled out due to improved radiocarbon dating techniques. There is still some dispute, focussing on stone tools found in the Urals, that they may have clung on until 30 odd thousand years ago.

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