Talheim

Talheim death pit
Source: http://www.zum.de/Faecher/G/BW/Landeskunde/rhein/geschichte/urundfrueg/steinz/talheim/fundsituation.jpg Accessed: 12/7/15

The Early Neolithic site of Talheim, located in modern day Germany, is famous for a pit containing the remains of 34 individuals who were massacred, presumably by a rival group.  The victims have been classified as Neolithic farmers belonging to the Linearbandkeramik culture or LBK.  The LBK maintained a sedentary lifestyle, and have been associated with long-house structures.  The site has been dated to roughly 5000 BC.  The villagers were killed by a variety of weapons including arrows, clubs and two distinct LBK axeheads called ‘Flachhacke’ and ‘Schuhleistenkeil’.  In the aftermath of the attack, the bodies of the villagers were thrown into a pit along with some of their possessions which included LBK ceramics.

 

  • Price, T. Douglas, Joachim Wahl, and R. Alexander Bentley. “Isotopic evidence for mobility and group organization among Neolithic farmers at Talheim, Germany, 5000 BC.” European Journal of Archaeology 9.2-3 (2006): 259-284.
  • Barker, Graeme. The Agricultural Revolution in Prehistory: Why did Foragers become Farmers?: Why did Foragers become Farmers?. Oxford University Press, 2006.