A skeleton unearthed in Australia suggests that .
The 700-year-old skeleton, named Kaakutja, was found in 2014 by William Bates. One of the prominent features of the skeleton is the skull, which bears a long gash suggesting he'd been attacked by some kind of bladed weapon.
Initially, researchers suspected a European sword or cutlass, but carbon dating showed the man died around the year 1200, long before European explorers reached the continent. Instead, the wounds appear to match those of a boomerang. These results are of the journal Antiquity.
Boomerangs are typically used for hunting, although there are records of war boomerangs, called wonna, that were used for fighting. However, there's little evidence that people actually died to these boomerangs, as Kaakutja is the first pre-colonial human skeleton to show lethal boomerang injuries.
Kaakutja provides confirmation to the otherwise circumstantial evidence of inter-tribal violence in pre-colonial Australia. Near Kaakutja's burial site, researchers also found rock art depicting warriors with clubs and shields, reinforcing the theory that aboriginal tribes battled each other.
Researchers hope that Kaakutja will shed light on tribal relations in Australia. Currently, it's unclear whether these battles were unique to this part of Australia, or whether wars were fought all across the continent. The remains of this long-dead warrior may finally provide some answers.