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6000-year-old Skeletons Found in French Pit Were Belong to Violence Victims

Update Date: Dec 12, 2015 03:28 PM EST

A new discovery in Eastern France reveals clashes that took not only lives but also the limbs, 6000-years-ago. 2-meter deep circular pit that was excavated in Bergheim exposed seven human skeletons and also an infant skull section that were littered on the remains of human arms, says Fanny Chenal of Antea Archéologie in Habsheim, France and her team. According to these discovered skeletons, a woman and four children were supposedly killed in a violent event, said the researchers in a report published in Antiquity. The bodies that appeared to have ben piled in a pit already consisted of collection of left arms that were chopped off by using a sharp instrument. There were also hand bones that were found strewn at the bottom suggesting that the limbs may have been severed deliberately into pieces. The Bergheim skeletons have arms intact except for a skull of a man seemed to have been damaged by violent blows. His skeleton also doesn't have a left arm. It is hard to say if the arm is amongst the many found in the pit, reports Science Daily. Chenal and her team are not sure whether the attackers targeted the victim's left for a reason or were they just simply war-trophies, speculates the team.

According to radiocarbon dating, the two bones indicate that the skeletons belonged to people from 6,000 years ago. This period, between 6,500 and 5,500 years ago is called the Neolithic period and during that time it was common for the bodies to be disposed off in circular pits within Central and Western Europe. The bones, both human and non-human, and also pottery date back to over a century. The Bergheim pit is the first evidence proving that people for mutilated and killed in battles and then buried in circular pits, says study coauthor Bruno Boulestin, an anthropologist at the University of Bordeaux in France, reported by Ancient Origins.

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