The DAI’s Roman–Germanic Commission has been excavating near Vráble in south-western Slovakia since 2009. Many inhabitants of the Bronze Age settlement there were the victims of violence. This is evident from human bones found at the burial ground. Who were the victims and why were they killed? What illnesses did they suffer from during their lifetimes? Are these things connected with the settlement’s location near large metal deposits? The DAI’s prehistoric anthropology lab is seeking answers to these questions.
A general survey of pathological processes that are detectable in skeletal material revealed a high frequency of caries, inflammations in the sinuses, and an interesting accumulation of various fractures. Apart from “ordinary” fractures affecting the ribs, hand and foot bones for instance, other bones were also found to be broken, suggesting violence between individuals. Cranial damage documents violence inflicted on adult males but also on children. A detailed evaluation of the evidence of battery is currently being carried out in an attempt to determine what might have happened – what kind of weapons were used and what injuries were sustained.