Cannibals of Neolithic Europe | Ancient History Documentary (5000 BC)

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Cannibalism in Neolithic Europe – what’s the evidence? The first 100 people to go to are going to get unlimited access for 1 week to try it out. You’ll also get 25% off if you want the full membership.

Cannibalism is seen in many cultures around the world, including in prehistoric Europe (eg the Upper Paleolithic / Mesolithic Magdalenian site of Gough’s Cave in Cheddar Gorge). But the Neolithic is a time of settled farmers and herders. Were these people really cannibals?

In this video we’re looking at three sites: Herxheim, Germany; El Toro Cave in Malaga, Spain; and Fontbrégoua Cave in Provence, France.

Were these prehistoric Europeans desperate people facing starvation? Were they honouring their own people in complex mortuary rites? Or were they feasting on their enemies?

And were they even practicing cannibalism at all?

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— Video Sources —

Neolithic Violence in a European Perspective – Edited by Rick J. Schulting and Linda Fibiger ➜

Cannibalism in the Linear Pottery Culture: The Human Remains from Herxheim – Bruno Boulestin ➜

Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History – Bill Schutt ➜

Mass cannibalism in the Linear Pottery Culture at Herxheim – Bruno Boulestin et al (2009)

The LBK enclosure at Herxheim: theatre of war or ritual centre? – Joerg Orschiedt & Miriam Noel Haidle

Aggressive or funerary cannibalism? Skull-cup and human bone manipulation in Cueva de El Toro – Jonathan Santana et al

Cannibalism in the Neolithic – Paola Villa (1989) ➜

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— Related Videos —

Neolithic Britain ➜
Neolithic Playlist ➜

— Video Chapters —

00:00 Starvation Cannibalism
00:58 Endocannibalism
01:42 Exocannibalism
04:10 Video Sponsorship
05:37 Journey to Herxheim
6:46 Herxheim – Mass Cannibalism?
9:23 How to Spot Cannibalism
10:44 The Herxheim Debate
14:03 El Toro Cave – Endocannibalism?
18:20 Fontbrégoua Cave – Exocannibalism?
20:28 Neolithic Mortuary Rites