Scattered under the ground beneath our feet are the remains of history. There are little pieces of the lives of people who lived before us that give us little glimpses into who they were—the things they held dear, the homes they lived in, and the bones of their decaying bodies.
But life thousands of years ago wasn’t always gentle and easy. Sometimes, when these remains are uncovered, the stories they reveal are brutal and violent—and sometimes, they’re pulled straight out of a horror story.
10. A Pit Of Amputated Arms
A team working in France found a horrible glimpse into our past: seven severed arms that had been brutally hacked off and thrown into the bottom of a pit 6,000 years ago.
The people whose limbs were buried there, the archaeologists believe, were farmers—although one was torn off the body of a child. After their arms were thrown into the pit, dozens of full bodies were piled on top of them. Their arms were still intact, but their skulls had caved in.
It’s not clear exactly what happened to these people. The only thing we know for sure is that a horrible massacre happened here. Only losing an arm, the researchers believed, may have been a mark of social status—a more merciful penalty for living with a tribe that was to be wiped out.
The rest is unclear. We don’t know who killed them or why their arms were removed. This pit, though, along with others like it, supports the idea that life in 4000 BC was often brutal and violent.