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posted by janrinok on Thursday March 16 2023, @03:34PM   Printer-friendly
from the turning-ploughshares-into-swords dept.

Violence and warfare were widespread in many Neolithic communities across Northwest Europe:

Of the skeletal remains of more than 2300 early farmers from 180 sites dating from around 8000 – 4000 years ago to, more than one in ten displayed weapon injuries, bioarchaeologists found.

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.

[...] 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.

Journal Reference:
Linda Fibiger, Torbjörn Ahlström, Christian Meyer, and Martin Smith, Conflict, violence, and warfare among early farmers in Northwestern Europe [open], PNAS, 2022. DOI:

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  • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Friday March 17 2023, @03:13AM (1 child)

    by Reziac (2489) on Friday March 17 2023, @03:13AM (#1296619) Homepage

    Probably not. Needing to run down prey happens a lot more often, because you don't get attacked every day, but you need to eat every day.

    And the speedy males might outrun an attacking tribe, but the females (who for the age-of-interest would mostly be pregnant) mostly cannot, and then your speedy males are replaced in the gene pool by those who ran slower, but fast enough to catch 'em a woman.

    And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 17 2023, @06:03AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 17 2023, @06:03AM (#1296644)

    Needing to run down prey happens a lot more often

    False. Most human hunter gatherer tribes don't run down prey. They use their brains to get their prey in other more efficient and safer ways.