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Early FarmersThe View from Archaeology and Science$
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Alasdair Whittle and Penny Bickle

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265758

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265758.001.0001

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Violence in Neolithic North-west Europe

Violence in Neolithic North-west Europe

A Population Perspective

Chapter:
(p.281) 15 Violence in Neolithic North-west Europe
Source:
Early Farmers
Author(s):

Rick J. Schulting

Linda Fibiger

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197265758.003.0015

This chapter presents the (re-)analysis of Neolithic cranial remains from southern Scandinavia and Britain and Ireland, offering a large, population-based inter-regional study of violence and challenging the perception that this was a ‘peaceful’ period. The authors discuss the state and location of injuries, as well as the demography of those affected, taking into consideration the probability of the accidental or non-accidental injuries and addressing the confounding factors of differential preservation. Their results show some general similarities in the prevalence and types of injuries between the two study regions. The majority of injuries recorded are minor and healed, in contrast to the well known mass-fatality sites of the Early Neolithic. While numerous examples of unhealed injuries are observed in the study area, they generally lack the focal context that would indicate massacre sites. Both types of injury have important implications for our understanding of violent interaction and conflict in Neolithic society.

Keywords:   Cranial remains, southern Scandinavia, Britain and Ireland, injury, demography, violence, conflict

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