French Archaeologists Uncover 6000 Year Old Massacre

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The remains dumped inside the Neolithic grain silo (© Philippe Lefranc, INRAP)

A team of archaeologists working in Achenheim, France have uncovered evidence of a 6000 year old massacre while excavating a large Neolithic enclosure. The macabre discovery was found inside a subterranean silo, which had originally been used for storing grain and other foodstuffs. However, this pit was filled with something entirely different. It contained the remains of ten individuals who had suffered extremely violent deaths.


Excavating the remains (© Philippe Lefranc, INRAP)

The human remains had been unceremoniously dumped into the grain silo and were lying on their sides, backs and stomachs, suggesting a swift and haphazard burial. Six of the bodies were complete, while four only consisted of dismembered arm bones. The complete remains included five adults and one adolescent, all of whom appeared to be males. The bodies displayed evidence for wanton overkill, with numerous fractures to their legs, hands, feet, ribs and skulls. Arms had been severed, shin bones broken and skulls smashed, the violence used was startling.

According to Philippe Lefranc, an Inrap specialist on the period:

‘These cadavers were deposited all at once and suggest a single murderous event associated with the same conflict. They were very brutally executed and received violent blows, almost certainly from a stone axe. The skeletons of five adults and an adolescent were found as well as four arms from different individuals. The arms were probably war trophies, like those found at a nearby burial site of Bergheim in 2012.’


Badly fractured skull (© Philippe Lefranc, INRAP)



Severed arm (© Philippe Lefranc, INRAP)



Flint arrowhead in the pelvic region (© Philippe Lefranc, INRAP)



Skeleton with fractured shin bones (© Philippe Lefranc, INRAP)



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