Salanova L, Chambon P, Bayliss A, Healy F & Whittle A (2018) Violent deaths in the development of the farming economy: the case of Bury. Journal of Neolithic Archaeology, 20, pp. 1-11. https://doi.org/10.12766/jna.2018.1
Many recent publications have tended to emphasise warfare adn vilent deaths during the emergence of the farming economy, linking the expansion of early farmers with inter-group conflicts. Cases of violent deaths have also been identified in other periods of the development of Neolithic communities. The collective grave of Bury in the Paris Basin provides one particular deposit, dated from the late 4th millennium cal BC and composed of a group of individuals, arranged in a specific position in the northeast corner of the monument. The central individual of the deposit, an adult man, showed clear signs of violence. The archaeological context and the formal chronological modelling, undertaken by using a large series of radiocarbon dates, enable more precise estimates of the timing and duration of the depositional events, which took place within the burial chamber. The results demonstrate the ritual role of such violent deaths, which are particularly frequent in periods of change.
ritual; collective grave; Northern France; 4th millennium BC; violence; Bayesian statistics