The French archaeologists call it the Massacre at Achenheim, a brutal act carried out 6,000 years ago by a Neolithic war party.
“We found six bodies in a pit, a silo for grain,” archaeologist Philippe Lefranc said in a phone interview with The Washington Post. The researcher had just returned from the dig site in northeastern France, although it was earlier than he had planned. Like much of the country, the ancient compound — despite the remains of a fortification around it — is currently flooded.
Although six bodies might seem sparse for a massacre, for its time it is, proportionally, a lot of death; 6,000 years ago the human population likely numbered in the low millions. Lefranc considers this to be more evidence that war — or, at least, conflict between different groups — has existed just as long as human society. “There was no lost paradise,” he said.
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