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A researcher excavating an adult skeleton at the Neolithic site of Catalhoyuk in Turkey.          Source: Scott Haddow / Ohio State University

Revelations From Çatalhöyük: A 9,000-year-old Community With Modern Urban Problems

Some 9,000 years ago, residents of one of the world's first large farming communities were also among the first humans to experience some of the perils of modern urban living. Scientists studying the...
Human skull showing blow to the head

Medieval Skull Found Beneath Rothwell Church Shows Violent Blow

In a dark crypt that lies beneath an active parish church in England, the remains of thousands of men, women and children who died in medieval Britain are stuffed into crates and stacked on wooden...
One of two cases of healed blows to the cranium from the Playa Venado excavations. 	Source: Nicole Smith-Guzmán, STRI

Famous Report of Violent Savages in pre-Columbian Panama Got It Wrong

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute via Science Daily Buried alive. Butchered. Decapitated. Hacked. Mutilated. Killed. Archaeologist Samuel K. Lothrop did not obfuscate when describing what he...
Medieval Knights are viewed as moral do-gooders.

Medieval Chivalry Wasn’t Just Knights and Valor

By Kathleen McGarvey / University of Rochester Our popular ideas of the chivalric world are off base, according to historian Richard Kaeuper. The gallant knights on horseback and banners unfurling...
 The Summerstone slab, found near Bearsden

An Eagle with a Blood-soaked Beak: Antonine Wall Carvings Warned Scottish Tribes to Obey, Or Else!

The Romans were not afraid of getting graphic if it would incite fear and compliance in their enemies. X-rays and laser analysis of Roman carvings reveal that disturbing images of captive and...
A painting of Stone Age Man

Stone Age Men Could Kill with One Swing of Their Club

Did war exist in Neolithic times? There is some controversy surrounding this idea, however it is known that violence took place. Archaeologists debate on exactly how much this happened, the nature...
Two burials of individuals with signs of trauma found at Pacopampa, Peru.

Peruvian Oracles Threw Stones and Clubs at Commoners in Acts of Ritual Violence

Healed over fractured skulls and limbs and a dislocated elbow – these are signs that archaeologists are interpreting as evidence of ritual violence having taken place in Peru about 3,200 years ago...
Fight with Cudgels, 1819-1823 by Francisco de Goya

New Study Reveals that London was the Most Violent Place in Medieval England

A new study suggests that medieval London was notorious for its excessive violence. The overall findings suggest that violence affected many parts of medieval London, although predictably it...
Sticker showing baby Krishna stealing milk from a cow.

Modern Hindus Forbidden From Eating Beef But Ancient Hindus Ate the Sacred Cow

Wendy Doniger / The Conversation Just this past June, at a national meeting of various Hindu organizations in India, a popular preacher, Sadhvi Saraswati, suggested that those who consumed beef...
Sacrifice carvings at Cerro Sechin.

The Gruesome Sacrifice Carvings of Cerro Sechín, 3,600-Year-Old Ceremonial Center of Peru

In 1600 B.C., there was no Internet, no television, and no printing press – how then could someone spread a message? For the ancient peoples of northern Peru, the answer was to carve reliefs into...
Ancient Burials Suggestive of Blood Feuds

Ancient Burials Suggestive of Blood Feuds

There is significant variation in how different cultures over time have dealt with the dead. Yet, at a very basic level, funerals in the Sonoran Desert thousands of years ago were similar to what...
Contemporary illustration of the Auto-da-fe held at Valladolid Spain 21-05-1559

Why Did the Spanish Inquisition Allow Some Witches to Stay Alive?

The Spanish Inquisition has a reputation for having been very bloody and cruel. However, in some regions of Spain their actions were barely visible and were focused on heretics but not witches. Most...
One of the smashed skulls from Lake Nataruk, Kenya.

Earliest War Grave Found with 27 Slain People Dates Back 10,000 Years

The world’s earliest known mass-homicide grave of 27 adults and children shot with arrows and bludgeoned to death about 10,000 years ago has been found west of Lake Nataruk in Kenya. The authors of a...
Famous Seneca chief of the Iroquois league, Red Jacket, political negotiator and critic of European religion, speaking to crowd

Iroquois League: The Ancient and Powerful Union of Six Nations

The Iroquois, known also as the Haudenosaunee (which means People Building a Long House ), were a powerful and important Native American confederacy located in the northeastern part of North America...
The pit of arm bones (Antiquity photo)

Pit of Amputated Arms in France from 6,000 years ago Suggest War and Trophy-Taking

About 6,000 years ago in France some hostiles in an apparent act of warfare and trophy-taking killed a group of adults and children, amputated their arms and buried the limbs in a circular pit...
An obsidian point is embedded in prehistoric human remains from a burial in central California.

The American Wild West had been wild for thousands of years

America’s Wild West may have been just as wild before the white man arrived with horses, guns and liquor. Analysis of more than 16,000 skeletons of Native Americans buried across 2,500 years shows...

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