First farmers in the Atacama desert had a history of brutal violence

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An aerial view of coastal area of Llanos de Challe National Park in the Atacama Desert

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When coastal hunter-gatherers settled inland to begin farming about 3000 years ago in the Atacama desert, their violence became more gruesome, often with intent to kill, according to a study of human remains from the time.

Vivian Standen at the University of Tarapacá in Chile and her colleagues studied signs of violence in the remains of 194 adults buried between 2800 and 1400 years ago in a coastal desert valley of northern Chile.

The team …

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