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Projectile points as signs of violence in collective burials during the 4th and the 3rd millenium Cal. BC in the N.E. of the Iberian Peninsula.

AuthorsMárquez, Belén; Gibaja, Juan Francisco ; González Urquijo, Jesús E.; Ibáñez-Estévez, Juan José ; Palomo, Antoni
Issue Date3-Feb-2009
AbstractDuring the Late Neolithic and the Chalcolithic in the NE of the Iberian Peninsula two main changes in the burials take place with respect to the previous period: the appearance of collective burials and the high proportion of projectile points among the tools recovered inside the monuments. What is the meaning of these projectile points? Without ruling out the possibility that some of these points were intentionally deposited, stressing the symbolic relevance of these hunting/war tools, we think that many of them must have entered the burial place inside the bodies of the deceased people, indicating human violence. We analyse three collective burials showing many signs of violence: some points inserted in the human bones, other points broken by impact, some traumatic fractures in skulls, etc. We think that the violence observed in these burials can be characterised as systematic and organised, showing the social importance of war in this period.
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