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Sticks, Stones, and Broken BonesNeolithic Violence in a European Perspective$
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Rick J. Schulting and Linda Fibiger

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199573066

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199573066.001.0001

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Neolithic violence in France

Neolithic violence in France

an overview

(p.207) 12 Neolithic violence in France
Sticks, Stones, and Broken Bones

Alain Beyneix

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides an overview of published evidence for violence from France, focusing primarily on arrow injuries, since there has yet to be a systematic examination of the cranial material. While an early example is known from the Mesolithic site of Téviec in Brittany, most evidence comes from the Final Neolithic/Chalcolithic of southern France, where large skeletal assemblages are available from a series of dolmens and caves. It is argued that despite considerable evidence for violence in the Neolithic, both in France and elsewhere in Europe, the beginnings of war proper are to be found only in the Bronze Age with the appearance of weaponry and emergence of a military caste. Whether this is accepted or not depends on one's definition of war, but it is unarguably the case that the Middle Bronze Age sees the first formal weaponry, in the form of the sword, whose sole purpose is the killing of other human beings.

Keywords:   interpersonal violence, arrow injuries, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, war, Bronze Age, Téviec

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