Now, we are a good way to conduct the entire “human” experiment, and the first phase-the age of the explorer-is ending. We have mapped every piece of land to a certain level of detail, and we are digging into the secrets of ancient civilizations. The untapped wilderness is being moved by more and more people, turning the wilderness into a landmark.
Every year, as more and more people flock to these landmarks, the difference between settlement and tame becomes more and more obvious. Sometimes the land fought back and people died. Sometimes people just fight each other and die. Either way, after 300,000 years of settlement, there are many dead people in many truly cool places. These are ten of the landmarks. Whether it is a natural wonder or a man-made wonder, in either case, there are a large number of dead bodies.
Yes, Herxheim sounds like a realm Thor would visit, and really, we can’t say for sure he didn’t. If he did, even his mighty thunder-ness might feel a chill run up his spine. Herxheim is a roughly 7,000-year-old archaeological site discovered in Southwestern Germany in 1996. And yes- corpses were found, this time in a series of mass graves. Estimates from bones and bone fragments place the number of dead at Herxheim to be over 1,000. However, the ‘how many’ is less unusual than the ‘why.’
Short answer: we don’t know.
But there is evidence to suggest a number of disturbing answers. The site was occupied by early humans for hundreds of years. The deliberate shape and pattern of the gravesites suggest that the mass graves were planned out in advance and slowly carved out over decades. This, combined with the fact that bones come from all across Central Europe, suggests that the site was a necropolis of sorts, a place for the dying to make one last pilgrimage before burial. But the city is more sinister than restful. Hundreds of skulls were split neatly in half, tongues removed from their necks, and long bones broken in half and their marrow scooped out, suggesting a truly massive cannibalistic enterprise.