History is littered with so many tales of conflict and sacrifice that it's almost impossible to keep count. Even so, a war that lasted 100,000 years seems like it would stand out in our collective memory. So why is it then that no one seems to know about it? The simple answer is until recently, historians didn't even know it had happened.
The notion of this epic war emerged after some ancient remains were discovered in the Middle East. While investigating the bones, archaeologists found clear evidence of what could only be an extremely enduring war. And now, its repercussions are making us really reconsider our ancestry.
Life wasn't as simple as we've been led to believe
You might be thinking to yourself, what did they have to fight about way back then? There was no oil, religion hadn't developed yet, and it definitely couldn't have kicked off from a particularly nasty Twitter comment. Well, while it might seem that times were simpler before all our contemporary advancements, things were also significantly more primal. There was a constant struggle to survive.
Every day was life or death
Sure, a few million years ago we weren't slogging into work for a 9-5 or struggling with rising rent prices, but we did have a few pretty critical responsibilities. Those were namely food and shelter, which when put together, equal survival. And while that may sound pretty straightforward, it was anything but easy. Oh, and there was competition. Fierce competition.
Where it all began
To get a better picture of the situation at the time, let's journey to the continent of Africa. After discovering fossils of those who lived there anywhere from two to six million years ago, this is where scientists believe human beings evolved. Back in 1960, for instance, researchers uncovered fossils in Tanzania that appeared to be from a cross between humans and apelike creatures. And that's only scratching the surface.
As many as 20 varied species evolved that could be described as humans. We still can’t agree on how they’re all connected, however, and it’s not clear which left successors and which just vanished. The fossil record is that bad! And while many of these species didn’t have any descendants at all, at least one did: modern humans.