Professor Rick Schulting has been re-assessing prehistoric skeletal collections looking at evidence of violence and the results reveal a darker side to the human species. One of these collections involves the scattered remains of at least 40 men, women and children found in a 20m-deep pit during the 1970s excavations at Charterhouse Warren, in nearby Somerset.
This Early Bronze Age assemblage featured cutmarks indicating dismemberment, alongside fracturing of long bones and injuries to skulls that took place around of shortly after the time of death. While evidence for violence is not unknown in British prehistory, nothing on this scale has been found, and the site joins a small number of Continental Neolithic and Bronze Age sites showing extreme violence and postmortem processing of human remains.
This lecture provides an overview of recent research into violence in prehistory and looks at the fascinating work on the Charterhouse Warren assemblage.
|Winter Lecture: Violence in Prehistory