7 Dec 2009

Evidence of cannibalism found at village burial site

5:46 am on 7 December 2009

Archaeologists have found evidence of mass cannibalism at a 7000-year-old human burial site in south-west Germany.

The journal Antiquity says up to 500 human remains unearthed near the village of Herxheim may have been cannibalised.

The authors say their findings provide rare evidence of cannibalism in Europe's early Neolithic period.

The site was first excavated in 1996 and then explored again between 2005 and 2008.

Team leader Bruno Boulestin, from the University of Bordeaux in France, told BBC News that evidence was found the human bones were deliberately cut and broken - an indication of cannibalism.