The study of the late Middle Pleistocene archaic human cranium found in Maba, China, brings new evidence of interhuman aggression occurred 129,000 years ago, stated in a press release from the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences documents a lunate lesion on the right frontal squamous exocranially concave and ridged lesion with endocranial protrusion.
Differential diagnosis indicates that it resulted from localized blunt force trauma, due to an accident or, more probably, interhuman aggression. The trauma is very similar to what is observed today when someone is struck forcibly with stones or staves. Its remodeled, healed condition also indicates the survival of a serious brain injury.
Maba cranium was discovered in 1958, in a karst cave at Lion Rock, Maba town, Guangdong province, China. With a large quantity of mammal fossils it was found in a deep and narrow crevice inside the cave.
Maba has a thick, prominent and projecting supraorbital torus that arches over the circular profile orbits. The nasal bones are narrow, pinched and strongly projecting. Since its unique morphology in the middle stage of Early Homo Sapiens from mainland northern eastern Asia, Maba has been described extensively from a comparative morphological perspective. Although lots of researchers studied the Maba partial cranium, no one pay more attention and analysis the special lesion.
Using a high-resolution industrial CT scanner and stereomicroscopy, Dr Xiu-jie WU and her co-author suggested that the Maba individual survived from serious injury and post-traumatic disabilities, and that it obviously did not kill the person. Maba would have needed social support and help in terms of care and feeding to recover from this injury.