Skip to comments.Neolithic Men Were Prepared To Fight For Their Women
Posted on 06/02/2008 8:41:45 PM PDT by blam
Neolithic men were prepared to fight for their women
By Roger Highfield, Science Editor
Last Updated: 1:49AM BST 03/06/2008
Neolithic age men fought over women too, according to a study that provides the most ancient evidence of the lengths men will go to in the hunt for partners. Many archaeologists have argued that women have long motivated cycles of violence and blood feuds throughout history but there has really been no solid archaeological evidence to support this view.
Now a relatively new method has been used to work out the origins of the victims tossed into a mass grave of skeletons, and so distinguish one tribe from another, revealing that neighbouring tribes were prepared to kill their male rivals to secure their women some 7000 years ago.
The Durham University research, described in the academic journal Antiquity, focused on 34 skeletons found buried in the village of Talheim in the south-west of Germany.
Article continuesadvertisement Geographic "signatures", chemically derived from the skeletons' teeth, suggest they were of people killed in an attack between rival tribes around 5000 BC as previously dated through radiocarbon methods.
Before the study, it seemed several women were among this unfortunate group, a minority.
But once the new method was used to separate the victims by geographic origin, it was clear that the local group was special - local because it was the only group with any young children, and special because it was the only group without adult women, despite being the largest group.
The researchers conclude the absence of local females indicates that they were spared execution and captured instead which may have indeed been the primary motivation for the attack.
Lead author Dr Alex Bentley says the simplest explanation is that the women of one tribe were captured.
"It seems this community was specifically targeted, as could happen in a cycle of revenge between rival groups. Although resources and population were undoubtedly factors in central Europe around that time, women appear to be the immediate reason for the attack.
"Our analysis points to the local women being regarded as somehow special and were therefore kept alive."
The Durham University-led team, with researchers from University College London, University of Wisconsin and a German government body, came to their conclusions after analysing the strontium, carbon and oxygen isotopes signatures of the skeletons' teeth. These give vital information about the skeletons' geological origin and diet.
The skeletons from the mass grave in Talheim, which were excavated in the 1980s, were all buried in a single pit of three metres long. German experts determined that the majority had been killed by a blow to the left side of the head, suggesting the victims were bound and killed, probably with a stone axe. Others may have been killed from arrow-wounds from behind as if the victims had tried to flee.
Whereas the women from the local community were spared, what remains open for speculation is why women from the non-local groups wound up killed. How did they get caught up in the massacre? They might even have been from the attacking group.
"What we know," Dr Bentley says, "is that the local women were the target," and what the role was of the others is part of the mystery."
Cavemen were fighting for their women...
I thought the only way they could get chicks back then was when they clubbed them over the head.
Sobbin’ Women Lyrics
Tell ya ‘bout them sobbin’ women
Who lived in the Roman days.
It seems that they all went swimmin’
While their men was off to graze.
Well, a Roman troop was ridin’ by
And saw them in their “me oh my”,
So they took ‘em all back home to dry.
Least that’s what Plutarch says.
Them a woman was sobbin’, sobbin’, sobbin’
Fit to be tied.
Ev’ry muscle was throbbin’, throbbin’
From that riotous ride.
Oh they cried and kissed and kissed and cried
All over that Roman countryside
So don’t forget that when you’re takin’ a bride.
Sobbin’ fit to be tied
From that riotous ride!
They never did return their plunder
The victor gets all the loot.
They carried them home, by thunder,
To rotundas small but cute.
And you’ve never seens so,
They tell me, such downright domesticity.
With a Roman baby on each knee
Named “Claudius” and “Brute”
Them a women was sobbin’, sobbin’, passin’ them nights.
While the Romans was goin’ out hobbin’, nobbin’
Startin’ up fights.
They kept occupied by sewin’ lots of little old togas
For them tots and sayin’ “someday women folk’ll have rights.”
Passin’ all o’ them nights.
While the Romans had fights.
“Hey listen to this”
Now when their men folk went to fetch ‘em
Them women would not be fetched.
It seems them Romans ketch ‘em
That their lady friends stay ketched.
Now let this be because it’s true,
A lesson to the likes of you,
Treat ‘em rough like them there Romans do
Or else they’ll think you’re tetched.
Them a women was sobbin’, sobbin’,
Sobbin’ buckets of tears
On account o’ old dobbin’,
Dobbin’ really rattled their ears.
Oh they acted angry and annoyed
But secretly they was overjoyed
You must recall that when corralin’ your streets
Oh, oh, oh, oh them poe little dears.
SIX BROTHERS ADAM
Them a women was sobbin’, sobbin’, sobbin’ Oh yeah
Weepin’ a ton Then sobbin’ women
Just remember what Robin, Robin, Robin Oh yeah
Hood woulda done. Them sobbin women.
We’ll be just like them three merry men
And make ‘em all merry once again.
And though they’ll be a sobbin’ for a while
We’re gonna make them sobbin’ women smile!
So the unbearable urge I feel to beat the living crap out of some metrosexual hitting on my babe is in my genes? I can live with that.
***archaeologists have argued that women have long motivated cycles of violence and blood feuds throughout history ***
Therefore let no man hasten to depart home till each have lain by some Trojan’s wife and paid back the strivings and groans for Hellen’s sake.____Homer, the Illiad.
Germany had football fans that long ago?
And then they dragged them to their caves. Want to know why they dragged them by the hair and not by the legs? They'd fill up with dirt!
Meaning that the killers (presumably right-handed) faced their victims to deliver the fatal blow. Oh, that's cold.
Any evidence of tooth marks?
It’s been a fact of history since... well... before history: when Mister P*nis stands up, Mister Intellect sits down.
Thanks Blam. I'm too lazy to post a link to von Stuck's painting entitled "Two Men Fighting Over A Woman".
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Marriage by capture is certainly a well known phenomenon amoung anthropolgists. The question is whether the women were passive or active participants.
When I was young, the other preteen girls and I [ranging in age from 10-13] had a game. We called it “let’s throw rocks at the boys across the creek and get them to chase us.” Pretty soon they would run through the creek, up the embankment and chase us through the surrounding woods. I was never caught and was complaining about this to one of the other girls. She said, “well, why don’t you slow down a little?” I was shocked, “what, slow down, if they are not good enough to catch me, I don’t want them.”
That’s how the Spartans did it. :’)
:’) Huh? We were trying to confuse the hell out of everyone. ;’)
Thanks for the images.