The world’s oldest fortresses discovered in remote Siberia


These data confirm that agriculture was not the only factor that pushed people to build permanent settlements.
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He led an international research team from the University of Berlin found a prehistoric fortress in Siberia. The wonderful settlement of Amnya, newly discovered, refutes the idea that agriculture and cattle breeding were prerequisites for diversified social structures.

Strategic locations were selected

In various parts of Eurasia, from the Korean Peninsula to Scandinavia, hunter-gatherer communities developed large settlements and strategic locations to control. Amnya, located in Western Siberia, is a clear example of how they lived thousands of years ago. The riches of the Siberian taiga, such as fishing and migrating herds, were the perfect cocktail for the main functions of the Stone Age.

A remarkable aspect of the find is that, until now, defensive fortifications have historically only been associated with the growth of agricultural societies. Now, with the discovery of the fortified settlement of Amnya, new questions and theories arise as the first 8,000-year-old prehistoric fortress has just been discovered..

Discovery of the oldest fortress in the world

The discovery was published in a journal Antiquities and was carried out by some scientists from the University of Berlin after fieldwork started in 2019. Paleobotanical and stratigraphic analyzes have shown that the inhabitants of Western Siberia led a very sophisticated lifestyle.

The Siberian taiga, fishing and migratory herds were key elements for fulfilling the main functions of the Stone Age. Source: Cambridge University Press.

Amnya it is the northernmost Stone Age fortress in Eurasia and is located on a promontory along the Amnya River. It is located east of the Urals, about 2,500 km northeast of Moscow. This society hunted in the river and hunted reindeer with stone and bone spears. In addition, they produced highly decorated pottery to conserve supplies of fish oil and meat.

Amnya forts are 1,000 years older than the earliest enclosures and fortifications associated with agricultural communities, which are found mainly in Central Europe, the Aegean Sea and the Levant.

Siberian finds along with other examples such as Gobekli Tepe (ancient sanctuary) in Anatolia, to contribute to a broader rethinking of evolutionary ideas. All of these findings refute the idea that agriculture and animal husbandry were activities developed only by complex societies.

It forces us to reconsider several points of history

This discovery changes our understanding of early human societies. The buildings demonstrate the advanced architectural and defensive capabilities of taiga or boreal forest societies.

He challenges the idea that humans only started building settlements with monumental architecture with the advent of agriculture. Moreover, it refutes previous assumptions that competition and conflict were absent in hunter-gatherer societies.


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