Neolithic Skeletons From Northern China Studied

China Mass GraveHEILONGJIANG, CHINA—According to a Live Science report, 41 headless skeletons have been found among the remains of 68 people unearthed in northeastern China at the Honghe site by a team of researchers including Qian Wang of Texas A&M University School of Dentistry. The remains have been dated to between 4,100 and 4,400 years ago, when the Honghe people farmed, hunted, fished, and lived in a settlement surrounded by three defensive trenches. Most of the headless remains belonged to women and children, although the heads of four men were found in a pit outside a house at the site. Marks on the bones indicate that similar techniques and weapons, probably bone-handled knives with stone blades, were used on each victim, Wang explained. Researchers also think that 32 of the 41 headless remains belonged to people who died in a single event—perhaps an attack by a rival group. Their heads may have been carried away by the perpetrators, and their remains buried by the survivors before they abandoned the settlement, he added. Wang also suggested that the four men’s heads recovered from a separate pit may have been brought to the settlement by Honghe fighters who raided another community. To read about a man who was murdered in the seventh century A.D. in northern China, go to “Murder Will Out.”


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