Scientists have uncovered the remains of two Neolithic men buried 6,200 years ago with the most prominent artefacts in the whole necropolis including amber which came from Sicily.
The ancient remains were discovered on a hockey field in San Fernando in the Spanish city of Cadiz in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia, and the finished study will be published in the International Journal of Paleopathology.
Professor of Prehistory at the University of Cadiz, Eduardo Vijande, said: “The individuals, both adult males, were buried at different times and show signs of violence.”
Vijande has been leading the excavations on the hockey field where a Neolithic community lived around 6,200 years ago.
Vijande said that the first victim was buried inside the tomb before it was reopened at a later date for the second male adult.
The first victim was aged between 25 and 35 while the second man died when he was 40 to 50 years old. Analysis showed fractures on the right side of both their skulls.
Vijande told Central European News (CEN) that the wounds almost certainly “caused the individuals’ deaths”.
According to a Cadiz University statement, 59 graves and 73 bodies have been found at the ancient burial site so far since 2009.
However, only two had skull wounds caused before their deaths and both were buried in the same tomb within a circular pit.
Vijande told CEN: “The most significant aspect is that they were both buried in the most decorative tomb with the most prominent artefacts in the whole necropolis, such as amber which probably came from Sicily.”
Lydia P. Sanchez-Barba from the University of Granada said that the skull fractures could be accidental or intentional, however due to the location and type of injury she is inclined to believe the latter.
Vijande told CEN: “There is not much information about violence in the Neolithic period and the fact they were both buried together in the same decorative tomb is what makes it so interesting, however it is unlikely we will ever know how they died exactly.”