Neolithic farmers in northwest Europe extremely violent, say archeologists

Skeletal remains dating back 8,000 yearts at 180 sites in northwestern Europe show so much evidence of violence and weaponry that archeologists suspect that it might be the first place on Earth where formal warfare occurred—a "high point" in historical conflict where "destruction of entire communities" was commonplace.

"Human bones are the most direct and least biased form of evidence for past hostilities and our abilities to distinguish between fatal injuries as opposed to post-mortem breakage have improved drastically in recent years, in addition to differentiating accidental injuries from weapon based assaults," says Dr. Linda Fibiger.

"The study raises the question to why violence seems to have been so prevalent during this period. The most plausible explanation may be that the economic base of society had changed. With farming came inequality and those who fared less successfully appear at times to have engaged in raiding and collective violence as an alternative strategy for success, with the results now increasingly being recognized archaeologically," says Dr. Martin Smith.

Britain, France and lowland Scandinavia. How's that for a bunch of usual suspects.