Conversations I Wish I Had

Massacres, torture and mutilation: Extreme violence in neolithic conflicts

After Big Bang

Violent conflicts in Neolithic Europe were held more brutally than has been known so far. This emerges from a recent anthropological analysis of the roughly 7000-year-old mass grave of Schöneck-Kilianstädten by researcher of the Universities of Basel and Mainz. The findings, published in the journal PNAS, show that victims were murdered and deliberately mutilated.

Severe injuries inflicted either shortly before or after death: Cranial injury on a child between 3 to 5 years of age. Credit: University of Basel, IPNA Severe injuries inflicted either shortly before or after death: Cranial injury on a child between 3 to 5 years of age.
Credit: University of Basel, IPNA

It was during the time when Europeans  first began to farm. To what degree conflicts and wars featured in the early Neolithic (5600 to 4900 B.C.), and especially in the so-called Linear Pottery culture (in German, Linearbandkeramik, LBK), is a disputed theme in research. It is particularly unclear whether social tensions were responsible for the termination of this era. So far two mass graves from this period were known to…

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This entry was posted on August 30, 2015 by .
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