Similar cranial trauma prevalence among Neanderthals and Upper Palaeolithic modern humans

  title={Similar cranial trauma prevalence among Neanderthals and Upper Palaeolithic modern humans},
  author={Judith Beier and Nils Anthes and Joachim Wahl and Katerina Harvati},
Neanderthals are commonly depicted as leading dangerous lives and permanently struggling for survival. This view largely relies on the high incidences of trauma that have been reported1,2 and have variously been attributed to violent social behaviour3,4, highly mobile hunter-gatherer lifestyles2 or attacks by carnivores5. The described Neanderthal pattern of predominantly cranial injuries is further thought to reflect violent encounters with large prey mammals, resulting from the use of close… 
Prevalence of cranial trauma in Eurasian Upper Paleolithic humans.
According to the current dataset, UP males and females were exposed to slightly different injury risks and trauma distributions, potentially due to different activities or behaviors, yet both sexes exhibit more trauma among the old.
Spinal Pathologies in Fossil Hominins
An overview of the known spinal pathologies in the hominin fossil record is presented, including spondylolisthesis in the Pelvis 1 individual from Sima de los Huesos, traumatic juvenile disc herniation in KNM-WT 15000 (Homo erectus) and Scheuermann’s disease in A. afarensis.
The not-so-dangerous lives of Neanderthals
Have Neanderthals gained an unfair reputation for having led highly violent lives? A comparison of skulls of Neanderthals and prehistoric humans in Eurasia reveals no evidence of higher levels of
The relative roles of maternal survival and inter-personal violence as selection pressures on the persistence of Neanderthal hypercoagulability alleles in modern Europeans
These findings challenge the idea that Neanderthal admixture has negatively impacted the overall health of modern humans and suggest that maternal survival may have acted as a selective pressure for the persistence of hypercoagulability alleles in modern Europeans.
A massacre of early Neolithic farmers in the high Pyrenees at Els Trocs, Spain
Rather than representing an insurmountable evolutionary inheritance, violence and ethnic nepotism can be overcome and a sustainable future achieved through mutual respect, tolerance and openness to multi-ethnic societies.
Hominin forager technology, food sharing, and diet breadth.
Violence and Masculinity in Small-Scale Societies
Archaeological and ethnographic accounts of violence in small-scale societies represent a baseline for thinking about the ways that violence and masculinity originated and evolved, becoming entwined
Targeted conspiratorial killing, human self-domestication and the evolution of groupishness
Abstract Abstract Groupishness is a set of tendencies to respond to group members with prosociality and cooperation in ways that transcend apparent self-interest. Its evolution is puzzling because it


Cranial vault trauma and selective mortality in medieval to early modern Denmark
The increased risk of dying for men with healed cranial vault fractures is quantified, an approach that can be adapted to any pathological condition and indicates the effects of selective mortality must be taken into account in paleopathological research.
Patterns of violence-related skull trauma in Neolithic Southern Scandinavia.
Results suggest habitual male involvement in nonfatal violence but similar risks for both sexes for sustaining fatal injuries, and the importance of large-scale studies for investigating the scale and context of violence in early agricultural societies as well as gendered differences in violence-related injuries.
Trauma to the Skull: A Historical Perspective from the Southern Levant (4300BCE–1917CE)
The rate of trauma in the southern Levantine populations was shown to be considerably higher than in other archaeological populations worldwide, which implies that socio-economical shifts (from agrarian to urban populations) had little impact on the local populations’ aggressive behavior.
Possible relationship of cranial traumatic injuries with violence in the south-east Iberian Peninsula from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age.
In all studied populations, injuries were more frequent in adults than in subadults and also in males than in females, denoting a sexual division in the risk of suffering accidents or intentional violence.
Neanderthal mortality patterns
The effect of trauma on Neanderthal culture: A mathematical analysis.
  • W. Nakahashi
  • Medicine
    Homo : internationale Zeitschrift fur die vergleichende Forschung am Menschen
  • 2017
Cranial injuries as evidence of violence in prehistoric southern California.
  • P. Walker
  • Medicine
    American journal of physical anthropology
  • 1989
The frequency of cranial injuries increases significantly between the early and late prehistoric periods on the Channel Islands and this temporal variation appears to reflect changes in patterns of violence associated with population growth and environmental instability.
Is Trauma at Krapina like all Other Neandertal Trauma? A Statistical Comparison of Trauma Patterns in Neandertal Skeletal Remains
Neandertal specimens from anywhere but Krapina represent a time spectrum of tens of thousands of years and a widely dispersed geography, and the disparate nature of this metasample mitigates the conclusions.