The first major European conflict occurred during the Neolithic era
Large-scale warfare occurred in Europe “1,000 years earlier than previously thought.” Reanalysis of skeletal remains in Spain suggests that wars took place about 5,000 years ago, during the Neolithic era, researchers say.
Researchers have suggested that the earliest period of warfare in Europe may have occurred more than 1,000 years before what was previously thought to be the first large-scale conflict in the region.
The Guardian reports that a re-analysis of more than 300 sets of remains Skeletons discovered in Spain – carbon dated to between 5,400 and 5,000 years ago – indicate that conflicts occurred long before powerful states emerged in the region.
The number of damaged bones and the disproportionately high percentage of men indicate that the wounds were sustained during a period of conflict potentially lasting at least months, said the authors of the study published in Scientific Reports.
The study reexamined skeletal remains of 338 people from a mass grave in a shallow cave in the Rioja Alavesa region of northern Spain, notes The Guardian.
The researchers found that injury rates were significantly higher at the time, with 23% of people showing signs of skeletal injuries and 10% having non-healing injuries.
The study authors also found that 74% of non-healing injuries and 70 The % of healed injuries occurred in adolescent or adult males, significantly higher than in females, and this difference is not seen at other European Neolithic mass mortality sites.
Fifty-two flint stones were also discovered at the excavation site arrowheads, and 36 of them had minor damage associated with hitting the target.
Previous research has suggested that conflicts consisted of short raids lasting a few days involving small groups of up to 20-30 people, and suggested that early societies lacked the logistical capabilities to support longer, larger-scale conflicts.
< p>The earliest such conflict in Europe was previously thought to have occurred in the Bronze Age, approximately 4,000 to 2,800 years ago, The Guardian recalls.
Overall injury rate, higher injury rate among men, relatively high percentage healed injuries (suggesting that the conflict continued for several months) and previously observed damage to arrowheads led the authors to conclude that many people at the burial site were abused and may have been victims of the war.
According to the authors, The reasons for the conflict are unclear, but they suggest that the war may have been caused by tensions between different cultural groups in the region during the Late Neolithic period.