The bones of a Kanodya hunter, buried about 15,000 years ago, have revealed a network of relationships between people in the ancient Near East and the Near East.
The site in Syria, about 1,300 miles (2,600 kilometers) south of Damascus, is the largest remains of a hunter-gatherer society known as the Kanadis.
The Kanadians were the first to arrive in Anatolia, which is today Turkey, about 4,000 to 5,000 BCE.
Kanadian culture flourished for hundreds of years before the arrival of other hunter-gathers in the region, most likely around 2,000-2,400 BCE, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature, which has published the study.
Researchers at the University of Cambridge and the University at Buffalo used 3D imaging to reconstruct a network in the skull of a female hunter from a Kanadia settlement near Kanodiya, about 70 miles (120 kilometers) north of Damascus.
They found that her jawbone, a large, long bone, contained an assortment of teeth that were not in the Kanads’ regular diet.
They also found evidence that the Kanadi women were intermarried with other hunters, which suggests that they may have had a shared social network.
The Kanadys were a hunter, gathering together for sport, and there is evidence that they hunted together, as well, said James T. Johnson, a professor of archaeology and anthropology at the UBC School of Medicine who led the study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“There was a significant amount of sharing,” he said.
“We’re finding more of these kinds of relationships in the skulls of these hunter-agricultural communities.”
The study found that the female Kanadi woman had the same amount of tooth enamel on her jaw as her male counterparts.
That’s because Kanadias were hunters.
The study also found that Kanadies ate mostly animal products and they often used knives and spears to dig for food.
Johnson said Kanadics also used a variety of tools to harvest food, including a variety known as “scrap” tools, which were used to make tools that were used as spears or knives.
Those tools, the researchers found, were used by Kanadie women to cut into food.
The research also suggests that Kanadi hunter-agers may have been part of a larger social group, said John F. Schoenfeld, a co-author of the study and professor of anthropology at UC Berkeley.
Schoenfeld said the Kanada people probably used hunting and gathering as part of the social structure, and they were part of an organized and well-planned hunting society.
“There’s an interesting question of how much this was an organized system,” he told NBC News.
“You don’t just come out of nowhere and have hunter-ager societies and people don’t necessarily share any of the same kinds of knowledge, because they’re all intermarried.”
Johnson said the findings are important because they are the first evidence of hunter-hunter societies in Anatolian sites.
There is also evidence of a common hunter- gatherer culture, but that is very recent, he said, and the Kanadan society is much older than that.
“The Kanada society is a very young civilization, it is probably at least 3,000 or 4,500 years old,” he added.
The findings could shed light on the roles of early hunter-Gatherers in the spread of agriculture and civilization, he added, pointing out that the hunter-hunting people may have taken up the trade routes to the Near-East, including trade with the first people to settle Anatolia.
“They probably did some trading with the people of the Near Eastern region,” he noted.
“These are very good examples of the importance of the human brain,” said Johnson.
“These are the earliest examples of brain that we’ve found, and it’s really hard to think of anything else.”
The Kanadi site was discovered in 2011 and was first dated to about 3,600 BCE.
The site was excavated in 2013, when archaeologists noticed the remains of animal bones, which may have belonged to a female.
The researchers also found other evidence of social organization in the remains, including the presence of a group of people sitting on the top of a cliff near the Kanadas’ site.
The group was clearly different from the others, suggesting they were gathering together, said Schoenfield.
Schmidt said the finding raises questions about how hunter- and group-oriented groups of people interacted with one another, which could indicate that groups of hunter/gatherers were more social than hunter/gather.
Schultz said it’s possible that the hunters had more control over the group than people might expect.
“They might have been more autonomous, but I think we do