HomeScience & TechAncient Sacrificial Rite Unearthed: Stone Age Women Possibly Forced into Self-Strangulation

Ancient Sacrificial Rite Unearthed: Stone Age Women Possibly Forced into Self-Strangulation

In a chilling revelation, archaeologists have uncovered evidence suggesting Stone Age women in the central Rhône Valley may have been coerced into self-strangulation, believed to bring prosperity to their agrarian community. The remains of women buried together for roughly 6,000 years have raised haunting questions about a widespread practice of ritual sacrifice across Europe, echoing through millennia.

Led by Eric Crubézy from Paul Sabatier University in France, researchers have documented 20 cases of buried remains across 14 sites, exhibiting signs reminiscent of ritual sacrifice. The distinction between impulsive violence and cultural acts of supernatural bargaining remains ambiguous, with archaeologists relying on subtle variations in burial practices for insight.

body positions stone age sacrifice

The discovery of two women in a pit near Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux has drawn particular attention. Positioned adjacent to a third woman, their bodies bore ominous signs hinting at a gruesome fate. One lay with a fragment of grindstone atop her skull, while the other was face down, with her legs unnaturally bent.

Further analysis suggested the women may have been alive when positioned in the pit, their bodies bound and contorted in a manner conducive to self-strangulation. The pit itself, resembling a storage site but lacking typical signs of use, points to a ceremonial rather than practical purpose.

This unsettling revelation is not isolated. Similar instances of deviant burials have been identified across Europe, with bodies discovered in pits resembling food storage. Dating back as far as 5400 BCE, these findings suggest a widespread ritual involving homicidal strangulation, linked to agrarian religious beliefs.

As the veil of time lifts, revealing echoes of a long-forgotten past, the graves of those sacrificed in antiquity offer a glimpse into the religious practices of Stone Age Europe. Their breath may have been silenced millennia ago, but their legacy persists, etched in the annals of history.

The study, shedding light on this macabre chapter of human history, was published in Science Advances, sparking contemplation on the rituals and beliefs that shaped ancient civilizations.

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