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PostPosted: 03 Jun 2008, 19:58 
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A story from the BBC---

A study of 7,000-year-old skeletons, led by Durham University scientists, found that one of the burial groups consisted only of men and children.

This indicated that the women were spared and their capture could have been the motive for the attack.
...

All the skeletons bore marks to the left side of the skull showing that they were hit in the head with an axe, indicating they were executed while bound.

==============================

Hex?

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PostPosted: 04 Jun 2008, 06:33 
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7000 years and we still haven't learned... :banghead:


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PostPosted: 04 Jun 2008, 10:47 
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The Abstract from Antiquity brings up issues -not- in the BBC story:
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Isotopic signatures and hereditary traits: snapshot of a Neolithic community in Germany
R. Alexander Bentley, Joachim Wahl, T. Douglas Price and Tim C. Atkinson

A group of Linearbandkeramik people at Talheim, Germany were previously found to have died at the same time, probably in a massacre, and the authors were able to ask some searching questions of their skeletons. The isotope signatures of strontium, oxygen and carbon, which gave information on diet and childhood region, showed up three groups which correlated with hereditary traits (derived previously from the analysis of the teeth). In the local group, there were many local children but no adult women, suggesting they had been selectively taken alive at the time of the massacre. Another group, with isotope signatures derived from upland areas, includes two men who may have been closely related. A third group has a composition suggestive of a nuclear family. The variations of one type of isotope signature with another suggested subtle interpretations, such as transhumance, and a probable labour division in the community between stockholders and cultivators. Here we see the ever-growing potential of these new methods for writing the ‘biographies’ of prehistoric skeletons.


Massacres are not unknown, and females are reproductively more valuable to the survival of a group, but they really weren't going to explain the violence expressly. Rather they were looking at where the people came from. But the suggestion that the females were taken elsewhere alive need not mean that they were kept alive long-term, but may have been removed to a different locale and dispatched there.

Either way, it's not pleasant, though it -is- effective and not wholey unusual ... :angryfire:

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PostPosted: 05 Jun 2008, 13:37 
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Men Fighting Over Women? It's Nothing New, Suggests Research

ScienceDaily (Jun. 4, 2008) — Men may usually settle it over a drunken brawl in the pub or perhaps a verbal spat -- but new evidence has shown for the first time that fighting over women in prehistoric times could have been worse than that.

...

The researchers found that, although there were adult females among the immigrant skeletons, within the local group of skeletons there were men and children only. They conclude the absence of local females indicates that they were spared execution and captured instead which may have indeed been the primary motivation for the attack.

Lead author Dr Alex Bentley from Durham University's Anthropology Department said: "It seems this community was specifically targeted, as could happen in a cycle of revenge between rival groups. Although resources and population were undoubtedly factors in central Europe around that time, women appear to be the immediate reason for the attack.

...

There have been many witness accounts of fighting over women in the last hundred years but most archaeological evidence points to violence erupting over resources, overcrowding and property. The archaeological findings from this study for the first time strongly suggest violence took place over mates as early as prehistoric times, according to the scientists.

The skeletons from the mass grave in Talheim, which were excavated in the 1980s, were all buried in a single pit of three metres long. The deliberateness of the prehistoric attack was first realised when German skeletal experts determined that the majority had been killed by a blow to the left side of the head, suggesting the victims were bound and killed, probably with a stone axe. Others may have been killed from arrow-wounds from behind as if the victims had tried to flee.

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