French archeologists unearth 6,000yo skeletons from ‘ritual’ massacre (PHOTOS)

© inrap.fr
The mutilated skeletons of 10 people dating back 6,000 years have been unearthed in Achenheim, north eastern France by archaeologists who say the remains tell the tale of a brutal execution by “furious ritualised warriors.”

The group consisted of the complete skeletons of five adults and one teenager, all male, who appeared to have suffered a violent death. The skeletons bear injuries including a shattered pelvis, broken skull and fractured limbs.

The researchers said they also discovered bones belonging to four other individuals in the excavation.

© inrap.fr

The Neolithic discovery was made on the outskirts of Strasbourg by a team from France’s National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (Inrap) during an excavation of one of 300 ancient “silos” which normally housed grain and other food.

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An examination of the remains and their positioning suggests these people were killed together before being dumped in a pile inside the 2.5 meter-circular pit some time between 4400 and 4200 BC.

Prehistory has probably never been a tender age,” the researchers point out. “However, the first conflicts or mass violence emerge between 12,000 and 10,000 years ago, in pre-Neolithic societies.”

They describe the massacre at Achenheim as likely being “the expression of a ritualised war fury.”

"They were very brutally executed and received violent blows, almost certainly from a stone axe," Philippe Lefranc, an Inrap specialist on the period, is quoted by The Local.

© inrap.fr

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Researchers hope genetic testing on the bones will shed more light about the mass killing, but Lefranc suspects the murders were a result of clashes between a local tribe and a new group arriving to the area that now surrounds Paris.