Were ‘cursed’ rams the first biological weapons?
Ancient written texts from the Middle East may reveal that the use of biological weapons dates back more than 3300 years, according to a new review.
The historical documents hint that the Hittites – whose empire stretched from modern-day Turkey to northern Syria – sent diseased rams to their enemies to weaken them with tularemia, a devastating bacterial infection that remains a potential bioterror threat even today, says the review.
Experts caution that more evidence is needed to firmly establish that the Hittites intended to spread disease using the animals. But they add that if this proves true, it might represent the earliest known use of biological warfare