Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cannibalism in Germany?

Herxheim in southern Germany shows remnants of many butchered skulls. About 7,000 years ago the Germans took war prisoners and slaves and used them for ritual sacrifice and they were killed as if they were animals. Boulestin, an anthropologist at the University of Bordeaux, has found evidence that several hundred people were all eaten in a short period of time. Miriam Haidle and Jorg Orschiedt have discovered that the bodies were buried, and then they took the bodies apart and removed the flesh from the bones, and then reburied them. Another cannibalism sight was in France and these people were butchered as well, but the answer could have been reburial, and not cannibalism. Herxheim was excavated from 1996-1999 and ditches have been found that contain both human and dog bones. Many human skulls and limbs were found; the bones contain many incisions. Boulestin's team thought that possibly bodies were brought to Herxheim to be buried, but the bones show otherwise. There are chew marks on the bones and the bones are opened at the ends, so that the marrow could have been removed. It is very possible that these Neolithic people could have been cannibals, because the skulls of these people had been crushed as if the Germans held an uncontrollable hatred against them.

Stefanie Studen
Period 7


RickyM said...

This article is interesting since it adds the element of Europe to the history of cannibalism. I know that when I think of cannibals, my mind immediately jumps to the New world with their savage behavior and religious beliefs. In the old Germans' case, this is different since their reason for butchering fellow humans wasn't religion but hatred and cultural reasons. Perhaps if charted on a map, one could find geographical correlation between the number of occurrences and their locales.

Robert said...

It almost seems like they were trying to spit in the slaves face one last time. Like saying, this just proves we own you, so much that you are a part of us.