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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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Violence against the living, violence against the dead on the human remains from Herxheim, Germany. Evidence of a crisis and mass cannibalism?

Violence against the living, violence against the dead on the human remains from Herxheim, Germany. Evidence of a crisis and mass cannibalism?

Chapter:
(p.121) 7 Violence against the living, violence against the dead on the human remains from Herxheim, Germany. Evidence of a crisis and mass cannibalism?
Source:
Sticks, Stones, and Broken Bones
Author(s):

Jörg Orschiedt

Miriam Noël Haidle

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199573066.003.0007

This chapter presents research on the controversial Late LBK enclosure at Herxheim in southwest Germany. Early interpretations of the human bone assemblage from the site emphasized the presence of violent injuries to the many crania recovered in the enclosure ditches. This interpretation was subsequently modified, with the fractures being seen as post-mortem modifications undertaken as part of a secondary mortuary ritual. Debate over the site has recently been rekindled by the suggestion that at least part of the assemblage provides evidence for cannibalism. Research results indicate that skeletal remains from Herxheim do not yield any evidence of a general crisis at the end of the Linear Pottery Culture or of a violent conflict being the origins of the skeletal accumulation. Existing facts also make it impossible to prove mass cannibalism.

Keywords:   human skeleton, interpersonal violence, skeletal remains, Linear Pottery Culture

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