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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Gruesome cannibal site of early Neolithic Rhineland

The westernmost branch of the Danubian Neolithic peoples were a strange bunch: they are typically buried with weapons, unlike all other Danubians, they might have been quite extensive consumers of opium (as far as I know theirs is the oldest evidence of this psychoactive crop) and now it seems they were also cannibals.

Bruno Boulestin et al. have excavated a site near Herxheim (Rhineland-Palatinate, just at the border with France) where they have found an extensive mass burial of what seem to be the remains of roasted and eaten people.

The paper is published at the latest issue of Antiquity (paywall) but, for those who do not have access, BBC also comments on the prehistoric mass murder.


Kepler said...

I knew when I was studying in that area that I had to be very careful with the local girls I was dating.

Ken said...

Brain legacy of ancient cannibals.

"The cannibal habits of ancient humans probably caused epidemics of diseases similar to CJD, claim researchers.

They also possibly helped promote the genes which now appears to protect the vast majority of us from such illnesses, they say."

Maju said...

Yah, I read that one. Guess that if you have the right gene, you can enjoy yourself with such a "feast".

However I pass.