Bones found at a prehistoric burial site seemed to
indicate that they belonged to victims of an ancient massacre. The
remains of fourteen people were discovered at Wayland's Smithy, near
Uffington White Horse in Oxfordshire in the 1960s.
English Heritage carried out the work with the
help of Cardiff University and the University of Central Lancashire.
The latest techniques available at the time (2006) dated the bones
to 3590-3560 BC, leading experts to believe that these people may
have died in a Neolithic Age massacre.
Michael Wysocki of the University of Central
Lancashire stated the findings suggested that the Neolithic Age
was more violent than previously thought. The victims - three of
them probably killed by arrows - could have died in a rush for
land or livestock, he added.
One of the victims was shot through the lower
abdomen, the tiny tip of a flint arrowhead being found by
archaeologists, embedded in their pelvic bone.
It's also known that the bodies of two people
were scavenged and partially dismembered by dogs or wolves before
their remains were buried in the monument. All this new evidence
suggests that the period between 3625 BC and 3590 BC may have
been one of increasing social tension and upheaval.