BERLIN (AFP) - A German archaeologist says he has found relics of "humanity's first war" in the northeast of Syria
in the form of clay balls used as ammunition almost 6,000 years ago, Die Zeit weekly said in its edition due for publication on Thursday.
"We have there the oldest example of an offensive war," said Clemens Reichel, who is leading an archaeological dig in the ancient city of Hamoukar, on the border with Iraq
, for the University of Chicago.
Reichel said that the city, whose fortifications were three metres (10 feet) thick, was besieged and reduced to ashes probably by attackers from southern Mesopotamia.
"It was not a little skirmish which took place here," said Reichel, who has been leading the dig since 2003. He spoke of a real "combat zone", to which the some 2,300 balls of clay discovered at the main part of the site bear witness.