Mass grave reveals violence in Neolithic Europe

A mass grave of at least 26 human skeletons in Germany show the conflicts in the Neolithic Era

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

The skeleton of a Neolithic man buried around 5,500 years ago near the prehistoric monument of Stonehenge near Amesbury, south-west England is displayed next to a reconstruction of the man's face on December 11, 2013

Updated Aug 19, 2015

A mass grave of at least 26 human skeletons discovered in Germany shows that conflicts in the Neolithic Europe about 7000 years ago was shockingly violent, with victims being tortured and mutilated, says a new scientific study.

The discovery which is published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, adds new evidence for the theory that mass violence has played a key role at the beginning of the Neolithic Age.

All of the remains show evidence of torture, multiple blows to the head and face, and the systematic breaking of the legs. The injuries occurred just prior to death or shortly after death.

The importance of such old mass graves was heavily discussed by experts. The last one was found in 2006 in Germany during a road construction project.

The study speculates that a clash over resources, possibly exacerbated by drought might have sparked conflicts between groups.

TRTWorld and agencies