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A farewell to arms: a deposit of human limbs and bodies at Bergheim, France, c. 4000 BC

  • Fanny Chenal (a1) (a2), Bertrand Perrin (a1), Hélène Barrand-Emam (a1) (a2) and Bruno Boulestin (a3)
Abstract
Abstract

Between c. 4500 and 3500 BC, the deposition of human remains within circular pits was widespread throughout Central and Western Europe. Attempts at forming explanatory models for this practice have proven difficult due to the highly variable nature of these deposits. Recent excavations at Bergheim in Alsace have revealed a particularly unusual variant of this phenomenon featuring a number of amputated upper limbs. The evidence from this site challenges the simplicity of existing interpretations, and demands a more critical focus on the archaeological evidence for acts of systematic violence during this period.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

B. Boulestin 2008. Pourquoi mourir ensemble? À propos des tombes multiples dans le Néolithique français. Bulletin de la Société préhistorique française 105: 103–30.

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D.L. Martin , R.P. Harrod & V.R. Pérez (ed.). 2012. The bioarchaeology of violence. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.

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R. Schulting & L. Fibiger (ed.). 2012. Sticks, stones, & broken bones: Neolithic violence in a European perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
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