Many anthropologists and archaeologists argue that the beginning of farming as a way of life may have increased the inherent tendencies of man toward warfare as cultures came into conflict. The discovery of a mass grave near Schöneck-Kilianstädten in Germany is the third known site of incredible large-scale violent conflict between different groups of Neolithic men. The discovery was made by Christian Meyer of the University of Mainz in Germany and was reported in the edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The Schöneck-Kilianstädten was inhabited by a series of different Neolithic cultures between 4,900 B. C. E. and 5,600 B. C. E. The invasion of peoples bent on establishing a farming culture came into direct conflict with the more established and more technologically primitive peoples in the area. The conflicts were extremely violent and cruel even compared to modern terrorist’s standards. The new site is the third example of mass graves that resulted from fighting in Germany during the late Neolithic.
The remains of 26 individuals were recovered from the Schöneck-Kilianstädten site. The majority of the people killed in the conflict were adult males but a few male children and women were also slaughtered. The researchers consider the women to have been captives and not combatants. All of the remains show evidence of torture, multiple blows to the head and face, and the systematic breaking of the legs. The injuries occurred just prior to death or shortly after death. The new site indicates that the multiple massacres in Germany were a systematic removal of an entire culture.