A skull from Sima de los Huesos showing evidence of blunt force trauma. (Credit: Sala et al./PLOS One)
From the scene, authorities recovered DNA, a stone handaxe and more than 7,000 scattered bones, including a bashed human skull. It was a case for the ages. But there was one complication: the events unfolded 430,000 years ago.
The evidence was unearthed by anthropologists beginning in the 1980s at Sima de los Huesos — the “pit of bones” — in Spain’s Atapuerca mountains. The spectacular