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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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Evidence of trauma in Neolithic Greece

Evidence of trauma in Neolithic Greece

(p.249) 14 Evidence of trauma in Neolithic Greece
Sticks, Stones, and Broken Bones

Anastasia Papathanasiou

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews all recorded evidence of trauma during the Mesolithic and Neolithic Periods in Greece due to either accidental causes or violence. It begins even earlier, with a small but important Mesolithic assemblage from Franchthi Cave. While the numbers are not large, it is interesting to note that cranial trauma is more prevalent in the Mesolithic sample than in the Late Neolithic assemblage from the same site. While a comparison of Early and Late Neolithic assemblages hints at an increased prevalence of cranial trauma over time, the difference is not statistically significant. The majority of injuries in the Neolithic show healing, leading to the conclusion that the evidence reflects sporadic, non-lethal, face-to-face confrontations between mainly young adult males, though injuries are not entirely absent on women and children. The chapter also discusses the difficulty of interpreting postcranial fractures as evidence for violent encounters.

Keywords:   human skeleton, interpersonal violence, cranial trauma, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Franchthi Cave

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