Violence in the Mesolithic
Keywords: prehistoric violence, prehistoric trauma, Mesolithic/Neolithic transition
AbstractThe Mesolithic populations of the Danube’s Iron Gates Gorge (Serbia/Romania) spanned over 1500 years (from before 7000 BC to around 5500 BC) in one of the more favourable foraging environments of Europe. Over most of this period, the dominant economy was foraging, but farming was practiced by communities in the region from around 6500 BC. This research examines individuals from four sites on the Danube (Lepenski Vir, Vlasac, Padina, and Hajdučka Vodenica) whose traumatic lesions can be most plausibly interpreted as resulting from violent interactions. Given the number of individuals buried at these sites (MNI = 418), the episodes of violent interactions were few and without evidence of a specific temporal pattern. They probably represent sporadic episodes of interpersonal conflict that do not support the notion of endemic warfare deemed typical of the Mesolithic, or elevated levels of interpersonal/intertribal conflict at the time of contact with farming communities. The difference in the pattern of violence between the Mesolithic sites on the right bank of the Danube and a coeval site of Schela Cladovei on the left bank is explained in terms of differences in archaeological context, geographic location and possibly specific local histories.
Download data is not yet available.
How to Cite
RoksandicM. (2006). Violence in the Mesolithic. Documenta Praehistorica, 33, 165-182. https://doi.org/10.4312/dp.33.16
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors are confirming that they are the authors of the submitting article, which will be published (print and online) in journal Documenta Praehistorica by Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Aškerčeva 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia). Author’s name will be evident in the article in journal. All decisions regarding layout and distribution of the work are in hands of the publisher.
- Authors guarantee that the work is their own original creation and does not infringe any statutory or common-law copyright or any proprietary right of any third party. In case of claims by third parties, authors commit their self to defend the interests of the publisher, and shall cover any potential costs.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.