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The riddle of the prehistoric skull with a bullet hole

A prehistoric human skull with a mysterious hole that forensic scientists believe may have been caused by a very high-velocity projectile, such as those from a firearm. The discoveries have led to numerous exotic and intriguing speculations. Who hit our ancestor?

The riddle of the prehistoric skull with a bullet hole
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Did anyone own firearms in prehistoric times? Looking at a skull in the possession of the Smithsonian Institution, the question might arise.

Almost a century ago, a Swiss miner searching for metal deposits in the limestone caves of Kabwe, Zambia, found an ancient skull of one of our ancestor who lived between 300 thousand and 125 thousand years ago.

This is the first fossil to be discovered in Africa with characteristics typical of Homo Sapiens. Kabwe's skull attracted a great deal of attention when it was discovered. According to what theSmithsonian Institution writes, at first it was thought that the skull represented the first ever example of a new species of hominid called Homo Rhodesiensis.

Subsequently, he was assigned the classification of Homo Heidelbergensis, then the most recent research has shown that some characteristics show similarities with Homo Erectus, Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens. The individual to whom the skull belonged appears to be the product of crossbreeding between different species of hominids.

But the unique combination of features wasn't the only thing that made Kabwe's skull special: the fossil featured a small, perfectly round hole on the left side, as well as the shattered parietal plate on the opposite side. This suggests that something penetrated the left side of the skull with such force that it completely shattered the right side as well.

Strangely, the presence of these highly unusual features is missing from descriptions of the skull on the Smithsonian page, as well as theNatural History Museum, London, even though photographs clearly show the hole.

Although it is natural to assume that the photo could have been caused by a high-speed launch, an article in The Shields Gazette reports a series of investigations that exclude this possibility.

“When a skull is hit at low speed by an object such as an arrow or a spear it produces so-called radial fractures or striations, that is, microfractures that start from the site of impact,” writes the author of the article. “Given the absence of such fractures, it was unanimously concluded that the projectile must have had a velocity much, much higher than an arrow or a spear.”

According to researcher Rene Noorbergen, who investigated the mystery in Secrets Of The Lost Races, “this same characteristic is visible in modern victims of head wounds caused by high-powered rifle fire.” So?

If this were true, it would mean that:

  • a) the skull is not as ancient as is claimed;
  • b) the skull is ancient but was struck in modern times;
  • c) the ancient skull was struck in ancient times with highly advanced technology.

The first and second options seem to be discarded, given that the skull was found at about 20 meters deep, in a layer corresponding to thousands of years ago and which excludes that it was found near the surface of the ground and was accidentally or intentionally fired in recent decades.

Is only the third hypothesis plausible, or could there be other explanations not yet advanced due to a lack of decisive elements? Perhaps our ancestors had much more sophisticated hunting equipment than we thought?

Of course, many other hypotheses have been put forward, some very radical, such as that proposed by The Shields Gazette, according to which "someone from the future, in possession of a firearm, traveled back to the past"; others, however, suggested something more plausible, namely that the holes were caused by fragments of a small meteorite or something similar.

The riddle of the prehistoric skull with a bullet hole
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In alternative archeology circles, the most popular perspective is that ancient man may have been more technologically advanced than previously believed, to the point of inconveniencing the Paleocontact Theory or Ancient Humans, i.e. the descendants of the survivors of Atlantis.

The only orthodox attempt to debunk the alternative theories was suggested on the Bad Archeology website, where the lesions on the right side of the skull are denied, even if no explanations or evidence are provided. They argue that the hole was not caused by a high-velocity bullet, but by a pathology, "perhaps caused by a soft tissue infection."

Clearly, at this stage of the research none of the hypotheses are supported by logical or adequate evidence, so none of them appear to be conclusive. Unless more fossils with the same type of lesions are discovered, a definitive answer to this ancient puzzle will not be obtained.

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