Date:

Evidence of major conflict in Spain 5,000-years-ago

Archaeologists have uncovered the skeletal remains of more than 300 individuals, indicating that a major conflict occurred in Laguardia, Spain, 5,000-years-ago.

The discovery was made by the University of Valladolid at the site of San Juan ante Portam Latinam, a rock shelter which was occupied during the Neolithic period around 3380–3000 BC.

- Advertisement -

The rock shelter is located in the the Rioja Alavesa region of north-central Iberia, which was first discovered accidently in 1985 when a bulldozer was widening a track.

In a paper published in the journal Nature, the researchers found the remains of 338 individuals, many of which have skeletal injuries, unhealed wounds and lesions, showing higher frequencies of injuries per individual than other demographic subgroups previously found in the region.

In conjunction with the discovery of at least 41 isolated arrowheads that appear to have penetrated tissues, as well as the disorganised and tangled overlay of numerous bodies, it suggests the potential involvement of a significant number of individuals, primarily men, but also including women and children.

According to the study authors: “Conflicts during the European Neolithic (approximately 9,000 to 4,000 years ago) remain poorly understood. Previous research suggested that these consisted of short raids lasting no more than a few days and involving small groups of up to 20-30 individuals, so it was assumed that prehistoric societies lacked the logistical capacity to sustain long, large-scale conflicts. It was previously thought that the first such conflicts in Europe occurred during the Bronze Age (approximately 4,000 to 2,800 years ago).”

- Advertisement -

Carbon dating of the skeletal remains places them between 5,400 and 5,000 years ago and is the largest violence-related event known for the European Neolithic which likely occurred over several months.

The origins of the conflict remain uncertain, however, the authors offer conjecture regarding numerous potential factors, one of which involves the discord between various cultural factions caused by biological stress, malnourishment, and fixed mobility in the region.

University of Valladolid

Header Image Credit : José Ignacio Vegas

- Advertisement -
spot_img
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 7,500 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.
spot_img

Mobile Application

spot_img

Related Articles

Archaeologists search crash site of WWII B-17 for lost pilot

Archaeologists from Cotswold Archaeology are excavating the crash site of a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress in an English woodland.

Roman Era tomb found guarded by carved bull heads

Archaeologists excavating at the ancient Tharsa necropolis have uncovered a Roman Era tomb guarded by two carved bull heads.

Revolutionary war barracks discovered at Colonial Williamsburg

Archaeologists excavating at Colonial Williamsburg have discovered a barracks for soldiers of the Continental Army during the American War of Independence.

Pleistocene hunter-gatherers settled in Cyprus thousands of years earlier than previously thought

Archaeologists have found that Pleistocene hunter-gatherers settled in Cyprus thousands of years earlier than previously thought.

Groundbreaking study reveals new insights into chosen locations of pyramids’ sites

A groundbreaking study, published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment, has revealed why the largest concentration of pyramids in Egypt were built along a narrow desert strip.

Soldiers’ graffiti depicting hangings found on door at Dover Castle

Conservation of a Georgian door at Dover Castle has revealed etchings depicting hangings and graffiti from time of French Revolution.

Archaeologists find Roman villa with ornate indoor plunge pool

Archaeologists from the National Institute of Cultural Heritage have uncovered a Roman villa with an indoor plunge pool during excavations at the port city of Durrës, Albania.

Archaeologists excavate medieval timber hall

Archaeologists from the University of York have returned to Skipsea in East Yorkshire, England, to excavate the remains of a medieval timber hall.