Study Points to Human Sacrifice in Europe
2007 06 14

By Heather Whipps | news.aol.com

Europe's prehistoric hunter-gatherers may have practiced human sacrifice , a new study claims.

Investigating a collection of graves from the Upper Paleolithic (about 26,000 to 8,000 BC), archaeologists found several that contained pairs or even groups of people with rich burial offerings and decoration. Many of the remains were young or had deformities, such as dwarfism.

The diversity of the individuals buried together and the special treatment they received could be a sign of ritual killing, said Vincenzo Formicola of the University of Pisa, Italy.

"These findings point to the possibility that human sacrifices were part of the ritual activity of these populations," Formicola wrote in a recent edition of the journal Current Anthropology.

Most of the hunter-gatherers who lived in Europe during the Upper Paleolithic buried their dead, and their graves—numerous and usually filled with offerings such as beads and ivory—are considered a good source of information on what they thought about spirituality and the afterlife, Formicola said.

Two or more people were occasionally buried together if they died in an accident or during times of disease, Formicola said. A cross-section of the graves reveal, however, that many of the multiple burials were more common than thought and had special circumstances surrounding the individuals.

"All these multiple burials (one out of five) can hardly be the result of natural events ... [and] human sacrifices could represent an additional explanation," Formicola told LiveScience.

For example, at a site in the Moravian region of the Czech Republic, three Paleolithic youngsters, one of whom was afflicted with congenital dysplasia, were discovered lying in unusual formation. The remains of an adolescent dwarf lying next to another female in Italy, as well as a pair of pre-teens in Russia treated to an elaborate grave offering of ivory beads, were also found.

"The time required to prepare all these ivory goods is enormous," Formicola said. "It was made for a ceremony and it was made specifically for the children. This leads [one] to wonder if this ceremony was foreseen long before the children's death."

The mix and match of ages and sexes buried in each grave indicates that they were put together for a reason and not just due to a common disease, said Formicola.

"These individuals may have been feared, hated or revered," said Formicola. "We do not know whether this adolescent received special burial treatment in spite of being a dwarf or precisely because he was a dwarf."

Human sacrifices have never been apparent in the archaeological record of Upper Paleolithic Europe, though they pop up much later among more complex ancient societies, such as the Egyptians. The Maya and the Aztec would also cut out hearts or toss victims from the tops of temples, historians say.

The new findings could mean the hunter-gatherers were more advanced than once thought.

"What [the data are] suggesting is that the Upper Paleolithic societies developed a complexity of interactions and a common system of beliefs, of symbols and of rituals that are unknown in small groups of modern foragers," said Formicola.

Article from http://news.aol.com/topnews/articles/_a/
study-points-to-human-sacrifice-in/20070611
165609990001?ncid=NWS00010000000001



Related Articles
Ancient Mexicans took sacrifice victims from afar
600 Year Old Amazon Mummies of the Chachapoyas Caught In Terror
Weird Tales
Chateau des Amerois - Mother of Darkness Castle


Latest News from our Front Page

Roswell, UFOs and Project Pandora
2014 07 23
Well, now, this is interesting. In fact, it’s very interesting. Over at the Department of Defense’s website you can find a file that has been declassified via the Freedom of Information Act on the subject of Project Pandora (which, to a significant degree, was focused on Cold War secrets, and how microwaves can affect the mind and body). It’s a fascinating ...
Men of Europe, Put Down the Eckhart Tolle Book and Pick up Your Sword
2014 07 23
Remember who you really are... The New Age Tactical Spiritual Military Industrial Complex supports murder and genocide. What is happening in Gaza today will eventually take place in London, Dublin, New York, Lisbon, Barcelona, Oslo, Glasgow, Melbourne, Stockholm, Auckland and Cape Town and wherever you are reading this article. Notice is being served upon all humanity. Not just the people of ...
Study Challenges Hypothesis that Birds Evolved from Dinosaurs
2014 07 23
The re-examination of Scansoriopteryx – a sparrow-sized, pre-Archaeopteryx, bird-like creature that lived in what is today China during the Jurassic period, about 154 million years ago – challenges the widely accepted hypothesis that birds are derived from land-dwelling dinosaurs that gained the ability to fly. Unearthed in Inner Mongolia in 2002, Scansoriopteryx was previously classified as a theropod dinosaur, from which ...
Israeli Professor: Rape Hamas Militants’ Mothers and Sisters to Deter Terrorist Attacks
2014 07 23
An Israeli academic has claimed that raping wives and mothers of Palestinian Hamas militants is the only thing that could deter further terrorist attacks. The remarks by renowned Middle East scholar Mordechai Kedar of Bar-Ilan University were made three weeks ago after the grim discovery of the bodies of the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers, but the recording was published online (in ...
’Mysterious plane’ with no callsign spotted circling London for two hours
2014 07 23
Scotland Yard has declined to comment on reports of a mysterious eavesdropping spyplane circling London. A radar tracking website showed an aircraft orbiting London at 10,000 feet for more than two hours. The plane had no recognisable callsign but was identified as a twin-engine Cessna F406 with the registration G-BVJT. The aircraft has been linked in the past to a shadowy fleet of ...
More News »