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Wed Feb 20, 2013, 04:48 PM

Battered Skulls Reveal Violence among Stone Age Women

To see what more humdrum days looked like for these Stone Age farmers, the team assessed 478 skulls from collections throughout Sweden and Denmark from between 3900 B.C. and 1700 B.C. They distinguished bumps due to falls or accidents from violent wounds, which might leave evidence such as an "axe-shaped hole in the skull," Fibiger said.

Nearly 10 percent of the Swedish skulls exhibited signs of violent injury, and nearly 17 percent of the Danish skulls had such wounds. Men had more nonfatal injuries, but women were just as likely as men to have lethal head wounds which can be identified because they never healed.

That suggests these ancient herders routinely experienced violence, likely due to raids, family feuds, or other daily skirmishes with competing groups, Fibiger said.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=battered-skulls-reveal-violence

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 05:31 PM

1. Raiding parties would just bash every adult head in

and take the children away as slaves. This is no surprise to me.

I sincerely doubt many of the wounds were given by their neighbors.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 05:33 PM

2. Not sure why this is a surprise

But interesting post, thank you

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 05:53 PM

3. I blame the music and violent video games.

Grand Theft Longboat: Gokstad.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 06:01 PM

4. Maybe the women participated in war. There are legends about it. n/t

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Response to Cleita (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 06:43 PM

5. Whether they wanted to or not.

After all, these were Norse women.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:05 PM

7. The Valkyrie legends point to the possibility of a warrior class of women.

Much myth has some historical content. There are also the Celtic legends of warrior priestesses who trained the men warriors. Also, some Roman historians write of the barbarian women fighting alongside their husbands. And, Brunhilde of the Ring legends was a warrior Queen of Iceland.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:27 PM

8. If they were culturally similar to the Kymri, then women went to battle.

If the battle was going well, the women cheered their men. If it was even, the women hurled insults and threats at their men as a means of encouraging them (it apparently worked.) if the battle was going poorly, the women joined in. And if it went really badly, the entire tribe died together.

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Response to politicat (Reply #8)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:40 PM

9. Most northern Europeans are descended from the Indo-European people who seemed to

have come from Central Asia even though they were blond and blue-eyed or what we call Caucasian after that region on the Black Sea. They rode horses, herded cattle and were very warlike. Since their languages are all interrelated, I would assume there would also be cultural similarities as well.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 06:54 PM

6. Interesting study. Kick, Rec. n/t.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:47 PM

10. That's why every cave needs a gun.

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