(ORDO NEWS) — In Serbia, scientists have solved the mystery of a Neolithic mass grave that was discovered almost a century ago. All this time, the ritual used in the burial has been a mystery to archaeologists. New evidence indicates that the grave may be a “crime scene”.
The opening is reported by Heritage Daily. We are talking about a large pit with human remains, which was discovered in 1931 by the Serbian archaeologist Miloje Vasic. He found an unusual burial during excavations in the town of Vinca-Belo-Brdo, a suburb of Belgrade.
In his diary, Vasić described the burial as “a crypt with a dromos” in which nine human skeletons were found. He suggested that it was a collective Neolithic burial associated with some kind of ritual.
It is known that the multi-layered Vinca-Belo-Brdo site has been inhabited since the early Neolithic in the sixth millennium BC.
At that time, this territory was occupied by the Starčevo culture, which was replaced by the Vinča culture in the Late Neolithic. Archaeological excavations in this place were carried out from 1908 to the present with long interruptions, some of which were associated with various wars.
During all this time, only a few finds related to the Starchev culture were made. Therefore, the tomb has always been of the greatest interest to scientists.
The first anthropological analysis of the skeletons was carried out as early as 1937, and the second was carried out only in our time by specialists from the University of Belgrade. He helped uncover the mystery of this burial.
Firstly, a new anthropological analysis has shown that in fact twelve adults were buried in the burial, and not nine, as previously thought. Secondly, not a single sign was found in the tomb that would point to the funeral rites of the Starchev culture known to science.
Moreover, the analysis showed that the burial is likely to represent a “crime scene” of the Neolithic. Representatives of the Starchev culture buried the dead lying on their side, giving them the fetal position.
However, in this case, the bodies were simply thrown into the pit, which indicates a disrespectful attitude towards them. In addition, on two skulls were found traces of blows with a blunt object, which, apparently, caused the death of the unfortunate.
Also, the analysis of the remains showed that the bones of the dead were broken, and in one case even a severed leg was found. All this suggests that someone brutally massacred a group of adults between 5700 and 5500 BC.
The details of this massacre remain a mystery: the analysis showed that the dead people were not buried at the same time.
The new study also found that at least two of the 12 buried were women and one was a man. The gender of the rest could not be determined. Only one of the deceased was a young man, at the time of death he was 15-18 years old.
The age of the rest ranged from 20 to 40 years. The average height of these people was 161 centimeters, which is approximately the average height of the early Neolithic people living in this region.
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