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Skull find shows women were sacrificed in ancient China

Published on Dec 2, 2013 3:49 PM
 
This picture taken on Oct 10, 2013 shows ancient buildings in the Shimao Ruins, the site of a neolithic stone city in Shenmu county, northern China's Shaanxi province. Archaeologists in China have unearthed the skulls of more than 80 young women who may have been sacrificed more than 4,000 years ago, state media reported on Dec 2. -- PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (AFP) - Archaeologists in China have unearthed the skulls of more than 80 young women who may have been sacrificed more than 4,000 years ago, state media reported on Monday.

The skulls were found in what appears to have been a mass grave at the Shimao Ruins, the site of a neolithic stone city in the northern province of Shaanxi.

The women's bodies were not present, the official news agency Xinhua said, adding that archaeologists concluded that the skulls were "likely to be related to the construction of the city wall" in "ancient religious activities or foundation ceremonies" before construction began.

There may have been an outbreak of mass violence or ethnic conflict in the region at the time since "ancient people were prone to use their enemies or captives as sacrifices", it added.

 
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