Aug 192015

via Science Daily

Gosh! Who would have thought, given how peacefully humans live together today, that our ancient ancestors practiced massacre, torture, and rape, that there are mass graves dating back thousands of years? We certainly have come a long way!

(This is from my morning reads. Couldn’t resist. Suits my mood.)


Besides various types of (bone) injuries caused by arrows, they also found many cases of massive damage to the head, face and teeth, some inflicted on the victims shortly before or after their death. In addition, the attackers systematically broke their victims’ legs, pointing to torture and deliberate mutilation. Only few female remains were found, which further indicates that women were not actively involved in the fighting and that they were possibly abducted by the attackers.

The authors of the study thus presume that such massacres were not isolated occurrences but represented frequent features of the early Central European Neolithic period.

Read the rest at Science Daily: Massacres, torture and mutilation: Extreme violence in neolithic conflicts

  2 Responses to “Gosh! Who would have thought…?”

  1. This entry made me think about Cain and Abel. I’ve read that it’s not clear in the biblical account exactly how Cain killed Abel, but I read online that the name ‘Cain’ can mean ‘spear’.

    One could say it’s in our genes. Just look at another member, along with humans of the family of Great Apes (Hominidae): chimpanzees. I remember once reading about a mother/daughter pair of chimpanzees observed in the wild, who would kill infant chimpanzees, and then show commiseration behavior with the dead infants’ mothers.

    I also goggled “chimpanzees attacking chimpanzees.” This search produced some interesting sites, including a youtube post titled “Gang of Chimps Torture and Kill a Lone Chimp.”

    • “…it’s in our genes.” Isn’t that the same as the disgraced general’s comment about sexual harassment? The one about some men being “biologically wired in a certain way”? To me, it just underlines that no matter how much we are in denial, humans are animals, and react the same way animals react to territorial infringement or response to attack. Except most animals don’t torture and rape for the sadistic pleasure of it. Anytime we decide to declare ourselves as more intelligent than other species, we need to consider how little we have changed and how little distance we have traveled from our savage ancestors.

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