A story about the oldest nuclear family highlights serious threats:
At least five of the individuals show the effects of a violent attack, one even had the tip of a stone weapon embedded in a vertebra.
Wolfgang Haak says that as most of the people in the graves were women and children it is probable that most of the adults were elsewhere at the time of the attack, perhaps out fighting or working in their fields.
"They returned home to the village and found their loved ones dead. It's an assumption, but the most plausible explanation."
Researchers say such violence fits with what we know about life in central Europe at the time – the area had fertile soils, a stable climate and natural access routes. This made it a desirable place to live, but also created competition amongst its inhabitants, leading to violent confrontations when one community tried to displace another.
Thus, life could be very dangerous in Germany 4,600 years ago. The latest research also shows grieving and compassion during that period. DNA tests on the remains revealed that children were buried in the arms of their parents, facing towards them.