Berlin, Aug 18 (IANS) Evidence of a brutal mass murder that took place during the Stone Age was found outside the German city of Frankfurt, the media reported on Tuesday.
The 7,000-year-old remains from the Neolithic period were first dug up in 2006 in Schöneck-Kilianstädten, about 15 km outside Frankfurt, but researchers later began examining the bones more closely, The Local news portal reported.
“At least 26 people were probably tortured, killed and then thrown into a pit,” head researcher Christian Meyer said on Monday.
The assailants probably shot some of their victims with arrows made of animal bones and killed others with stone axes.
Of the 26 people, 12 to 13 were children, two were women and the remaining were men. Both women were estimated to be over 40 years old.
“This could mean that the younger women were abducted during the attack,” said Meyer, who began the research at the University of Mainz.
The researchers said there was no discernible evidence of a ritual, dignified burial.
The leg bones were also smashed in an almost similar way.
However, Meyer and his colleagues cannot speculate about the motive of the assailants. They assume that an entire village was wiped out, which they said was not unique at that time.
“With the settled lifestyle, there were possibly conflicts over territories,” Meyer said.
Schöneck-Kilianstädten is not the only site in central Europe of a Stone Age massacre.
Archaeologists have also found evidence of such violence in the south western German state of Baden-Württemberg and in a village near Vienna.
“These three places prove that 7,000 years ago… there was already collective violence on a large scale,” Meyer added.