At a Neolithic site located in China's Xi'an City, Shaanxi Province, a single tomb was excavated containing a girl's skeleton with 35 wounds. Archaeologists assume that the 7000-year-old girl had been stabbed to death by almost 100 people.
On November 25 the Sanqin City Daily reported that in the winter of 1995, Shaanxi archaeologists unearthed the tomb in Lingkou Village, Lintong District. Later, they recorded their findings and took photos of the burial ground, the skeleton and other remains.
An archaeological report named after the site, “Lingkou Village in Lintong,” was recently released by the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology. The report revealed that the wounds were scattered around the young girl's body, at her skull, spine, pelvis and limbs. There were a total of 18 murder weapons still stuck inside the skeleton which included eight bone forks, eight bone hairpins for fastening hair, and two bone arrowheads.
A thorough examination of the skeleton revealed that the corpse was a female between the ages of 15 to 17, who was buried between 6,450 and 7,300 years ago.
Archaeologists pointed out that at the early stage of the Neolithic period, over 7,000 years ago, sharp bone forks, arrowheads and hairpins were of great value. Based on the archaeological analysis, the fact that 18 valuable murder weapons snapped inside the girl's body demonstrated violent attacks with intense hatred. In addition, it was reported that nearly one hundred assailants might have been involved in the murder.
Zhang Zaiming, a researcher at the Xi'an Center for the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Relics, said that judging from the archaeological report, Lingkou villagers lived in semi-subterranean houses, with the floor below the ground level, and walls made of white lime plaster mixed with mud and straw. Compared with the houses at Banpo, an archaeological site near Xi'an, those in Lingkou lived in a more miserable state. The Lingkou villagers made their living through farming and raising pigs. When crops failed local inhabitants would hunt and fish.
So why was there such a brutal murder involving so many? Archaeologists believe the young woman could have been a human sacrifice offered to a god in a religious ceremony, a captive or an outcast who had betrayed a marital oath or violated tribal rules, a victim at the hands of her vengeful lover or enemy, or a victim dissected at a funeral ceremony.
Archaeologists said they would further investigate “the Lingkou maiden” and find the reason behind this torture killing. Through a DNA analysis of the corpse, they will be able to identify her race, genes, height, physical features, or even her medical history. In addition, archaeologists will restore the maiden's skull to its original state, and mould a statue of her.