The period from 6000 BC to 2000 BC may be a high point in conflict and violence

Thursday, February 23rd, 2023

Of the skeletal remains of more than 2300 early farmers from 180 sites dating from 8,000 to 4,000 years ago, more than one in ten displayed weapon injuries:

Contrary to the view that the Neolithic era was marked by peaceful cooperation, the team of international researchers say that in some regions the period from 6000BC to 2000BC may be a high point in conflict and violence with the destruction of entire communities.

The findings also suggest the rise of growing crops and herding animals as a way of life, replacing hunting and gathering, may have laid the foundations for formalised warfare.

Researchers used bioarchaeological techniques to study human skeletal remains from sites in Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain and Sweden.

The team collated the findings to map, for the first time, evidence of violence across Neolithic Northwestern Europe, which has the greatest concentration of excavated Neolithic sites in the world,

The team from the Universities of Edinburgh, Bournemouth and Lund in Sweden, and the OsteoArchaeological Research Centre in Germany examined the remains for evidence of injuries caused predominantly by blunt force to the skull.

More than ten per cent showed damage potentially caused by frequent blows to the head by blunt instruments or stone axes. Several examples of penetrative injuries, thought to be from arrows, were also found.

Some of the injuries were linked to mass burials, which could suggest the destruction of entire communities, the researchers say.


  1. Dan Kurt says:

    The discovery of Gobekli Tepe destroys all the BS of articles such as this one. Time for a new paradigm “scholars.”

  2. Jim says:

    So true, Dan “King” Kurt, so true.

    But we don’t need a new scholarly paradigm, we need a new paradigm of scholars. The failures must be fired. Personnel, as they say, is policy.

    “Hey! hey! ho! ho! the fake-scholar real-commie occupational class has got to go.”

  3. Michael van der Riet says:

    Paleo violence: this is a typical outcome of population pressure. When a paleo hunter spots someone from another tribe on his demesne, he kills him on the spot. There are no burial sites and the skeletal remains don’t remain for very long. Agriculture and fixed places of abode simply meant that the killing was more localized and concentrated in time. Burial of enemies is a nice touch and merits further discussion. We have an example of population pressure warfare in recent historical times, namely the Difaqane or Threshing in Southern Africa.

  4. McChuck says:

    I guess the researchers never heard of the pre-Columbian Americas. You know, with Aztecs conducting ritual murder on a daily basis. (Of course, the Mexicans and Guatemalans still murder each other quite regularly. It’s just not a religious ritual now.)

  5. Bob Sykes says:

    Gobekli Tepe is shows that the people then had high level stone working and stone construction skills. The has to be a history of the development of these skills, and their must be other sites much earlier showing that development.

    That said, I am not a fan of Hancock’s “Atlantis” proposal, although I find his books and video’s enormously entertaining and informative.

  6. Altitude Zero says:

    Hancock is entertaining, if only for how insane he drives mainstream “scholars”. He does also dig up some interesting facts once in a while, and at least he’s honest about his biases.

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