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Thread: Skulls on Stakes and Cranial Trauma in Mesolithic Sweden

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    Skulls on Stakes and Cranial Trauma in Mesolithic Sweden



    Keep your head high: skulls on stakes and cranial trauma in Mesolithic Sweden

    Abstract

    The socio-cultural behaviour of Scandinavian Mesolithic hunter-gatherers has been difficult to understand due to the dearth of sites thus far investigated. Recent excavations at Kanaljorden in Sweden, however, have revealed disarticulated human crania intentionally placed at the bottom of a former lake. The adult crania exhibited antemortem blunt force trauma patterns differentiated by sex that were probably the result of interpersonal violence; the remains of wooden stakes were recovered inside two crania, indicating that they had been mounted. Taphonomic factors suggest that the human bodies were manipulated prior to deposition. This unique site challenges our understanding of the handling of the dead during the European Mesolithic.


    https://www.cambridge.org/core/journ...AB1DF52FEC2782

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    I guess someone should inform the researchers on Cheddar Man. They seemed to imply that interpersonal violence only arose in the Neolithic over ownership of land. :)

    Obviously that was a ridiculous statement for them to make even before findings like this. People can fight and raid over hunting lands as much as agricultural land, or over women, or access to water, or any number of things.

    Perhaps something of that sort sparked this conflict.


    Non si fa il proprio dovere perchè qualcuno ci dica grazie, lo si fa per principio, per se stessi, per la propria dignità. Oriana Fallaci

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I guess someone should inform the researchers on Cheddar Man. They seemed to imply that interpersonal violence only arose in the Neolithic over ownership of land. :)

    Obviously that was a ridiculous statement for them to make even before findings like this. People can fight and raid over hunting lands as much as agricultural land, or over women, or access to water, or any number of things.

    Perhaps something of that sort sparked this conflict.
    I agree, they could have even been more prone to violence out of desperation. Since they lacked a consistent means of acquiring resources that could be yielded from farming.

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    Sometimes, I sense a kind of ideological bias from some of these conclusions that seems to argue against private ownership & civilization; attempting to lionize the “noble savage”.

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    this is not something new
    also in the Motala area there were skulls on stakes
    mesolithic southern Scandinavia was densely populated and ultra-violent
    also a vairety of I2 subclades are observed in mesolithic southern Scandinavia
    there were probably many rivaling tribes
    nevertheless they probably exchanged wives, hence the autosomal unity
    we know that the incoming tribe from the northern Norwegian coasts, ca 9.6 ka had 55 % EHG and 45 % WHG, and after admixture it was 35 % EHG and 65 % WHG

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I guess someone should inform the researchers on Cheddar Man. They seemed to imply that interpersonal violence only arose in the Neolithic over ownership of land. :)
    Obviously that was a ridiculous statement for them to make even before findings like this. People can fight and raid over hunting lands as much as agricultural land, or over women, or access to water, or any number of things.
    Perhaps something of that sort sparked this conflict.
    didn't they mention the cannibalism in Cheddar cave?
    probably ritual, but then it was to celebrate victory over the enemy

    then again, rituals in some late LBK societies weren't any better

    I'm afraid that the 'peacefull society' is a myth
    maybe it existed for 2-3 generations of prosperity and abundance for everyone, but that was very rare

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jovialis View Post
    Sometimes, I sense a kind of ideological bias from some of these conclusions that seems to argue against private ownership & civilization; attempting to lionize the “noble savage”.
    Me too. It's romantic folly, in my opinion. Tacitus did the same thing with the Germani.

    Human beings are human beings, and no, I don't believe they're born "good" and "pure", and only "society" or "civilization" corrupts them. These male philosophers should have talked to mothers of multiple children before formulating some of these theories. It's only law that contains anarchy.

    Societies that Europeans laud as more "unspoiled" and imagine are rule free are, in fact, riddled with stringent rules covering every aspect of behavior. The list of taboos in some of these cultures is extraordinary. The first Europeans coming into contact with these tribes made the mistake of assuming that because their own rules weren't in evidence that there were none.

    None of that excuses what was done to or happened to "indigenous" Americans, or other indigenous tribal hunting and gathering groups, but reality is reality.

    You'd think scientists working in population genetics would at least have taken an introductory course in anthropology.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_savage

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Me too. It's romantic folly, in my opinion. Tacitus did the same thing with the Germani.

    Human beings are human beings, and no, I don't believe they're born "good" and "pure", and only "society" or "civilization" corrupts them. These male philosophers should have talked to mothers of multiple children before formulating some of these theories. It's only law that contains anarchy.

    Societies that Europeans laud as more "unspoiled" and imagine are rule free are, in fact, riddled with stringent rules covering every aspect of behavior. The list of taboos in some of these cultures is extraordinary. The first Europeans coming into contact with these tribes made the mistake of assuming that because their own rules weren't in evidence that there were none.

    None of that excuses what was done to or happened to "indigenous" Americans, or other indigenous tribal hunting and gathering groups, but reality is reality.

    You'd think scientists working in population genetics would at least have taken an introductory course in anthropology.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_savage
    homo homini lupus

    never forget that

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    didn't they mention the cannibalism in Cheddar cave?
    probably ritual, but then it was to celebrate victory over the enemy
    then again, rituals in some late LBK societies weren't any better
    I'm afraid that the 'peacefull society' is a myth
    maybe it existed for 2-3 generations of prosperity and abundance for everyone, but that was very rare
    I think the boiled human fingers and toes were supposedly from times before Cheddar Man, not that it changes the major point. :)

    You're right I think; the "peaceful" society is ephemeral if it exists at all.

    I was quite disappointed at the findings from Crete which show that as crops failed and there were disruptions in trade, there seems to have been island wide violence, and signs of child sacrifice. Shades of Iphigenia, yes?

    It's still one of my favorite ancient cultures, but I had to take off my rose-colored glasses.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iphigenia

    Yes, indeed. Homo homini lupus est: Man is a wolf.

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    Human beings live in civilization because it is safer than living a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. There’s safety in numbers to protect against other humans, and predators. Moreover, they are better able to have access to water, food, shelter, etc. The more organized groups will always take advantage of the disunities of rivals. It is inevitable that civilization would rise up, because the scarcity of resources will always ensure conflict between humans. Thus, we are compelled by survival to organize society ultimately as a civilization.

    Lack of resources, and man’s capacity for violence to obtain them, are what forces people to have a more organized social structure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jovialis View Post
    Human beings live in civilization because it is safer than living a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. There’s safety in numbers to protect against other humans, and predators. Moreover, they are better able to have access to water, food, shelter, etc. The more organized groups will always take advantage of the disunities of rivals. It is inevitable that civilization would rise up, because the scarcity of resources will always ensure conflict between humans. Thus, we are compelled by survival to organize society ultimately as a civilization.

    Lack of resources, and man’s capacity for violence to obtain them, are what forces people to have a more organized social structure.
    I once saw a phantasized movie on youtube about Solutrean HG.
    At a certain point an angry young hunter kills an adolescent girl with a sharp knife.
    As a punishment, the tribe chief bannishes the murderer.
    They comment that this is a death sentence, as the young man, without a tribe will be unable to survive alone in the wilderness.
    At first I didn't believe it, but when I thought further, it is true.

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    There seem to have been a conflict between different tribes. It is the most likely interpretation one can make when reading the text, and also looking at the picture showing the differences between male and female head trauma injuries. One does not have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the male injuries were caused by men fighting face to face while the female injuries were caused when these women tried to flee or protect themselves. One should also note that some of these individuals carried the derived allele of rs3827760 in the EDAR gene which is a clearly Siberian/East Asian signature that has not been found in any other human remains anywhere else in Europe. There seem to have existed a second elusive tribe in this part of Sweden at the time, and it is likely to think that this other tribe carried the derived allele of rs3827760 in the EDAR gene, and that this mutation was transmitted to some of the individuals of the other tribe, either through intermarriage, or through rape during conflicts. The DNA analysis of the human remains found in Motala seem to suggest that they belonged to the same tribe, but were part of different bands, since these individuals seem to have lived in different parts of southern Sweden. A small minority of the men that nowadays live in southern Sweden belong to Y-DNA haplogroup Q-L527 which is a subgroup of Q-M242. Y-DNA haplogroup Q-M242 and its subgroup Q-L527 probably both originated in southern Siberia.

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