How Violent Was It
before the Flood?

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How violent was the world before Noah's flood? What evidence does the fossil record provide that reveals some of the wickedness and violence humans indulged in before the deluge?

A Violent World

The first two uses of the word "violence" in the King James Bible are in reference to the evil that had come to dominate the world before the flood.

And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually . . . The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence . . .

And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth (Genesis 6:5, 11, 13, KJV).

God, for the first 1,500+ years of man's existence, witnessed his greatest creation slowly destroying itself. Humans, over time, had corrupted themselves by setting their hearts more and more on fulfilling their lusts in any way possible which included violence. Human nature was not seen as something to strive against (see Genesis 4:7) but rather something to promote, exalt in and indulge.

The fossil record in regard to early man, especially Neanderthals, provides us with some clues regarding the violence in the world before the flood.

Fossil Evidence

There is evidence, found in various fossil sites around the world, that Neanderthal man practiced cannibalism. One of the most important sites was the Krapina fossil site in Croatia.

"Perhaps the most provocative of the conclusions that Gorjanovic drew from his excavations at Krapina was that the fragmentary state of the human fossils was due to the practice of cannibalism. This was not the first time that the notion of cannibalism had been raised in connection with Neanderthal man." (Tattersall I. The Last Neanderthal. Westview Press. New York NY. p. 88. 1996).

"The question of cannibalism and the dismemberment of the corpses of the Krapina People has been suggested on the grounds of fragmentation, cut marks and bone splitting. This has been discounted by Trinkaus on the basis that there is no evidence of damage that cannot be explained in other way than cannibalism." (Day MH. Guide to Fossil Man. 4th ed. The University of Chicago Press. Chicago IL. p. 85, 88. 1993).

The anthropological community is slowly realizing that the fossil evidence overwhelmingly supports the view that many Neanderthals were cannibalistic and that the evidence does not support supposed mortuary practices.

"After 30 years of research, Turner says it is a modern bias to insist that cannibalism isn't part of human nature. Many other species eat their own, and our ancestors may have had their own "good" reasons - whether to terrorize subject peoples, limit their neighbors' offspring, or for religious or medicinal purposes . . .

"Cannibalism could have been an adaptive strategy. It has to be entertained." (Gibbons A. Archaeologist rediscovers cannibals. Science. 277:635-637. 1997).

Cannibalism at Cave Site

An article published in the prestigious journal Science, written by Alban Defleur and others, concludes that Neanderthals indulged in the violence of cannibalism.

"Excavations since 1991 (at a French cave site in Moula-Guercy) have yielded rich paleontological, palaeobotanical, and archaeological assemblages, including parts of six Neanderthals. The Neanderthals are contemporary with stone tools and faunal remains in the same tightly controlled stratigraphic and spatial contexts.

"The inference of Neanderthal cannibalism at Moula-Guercy is based on comparative analysis of hominid and ungulate bone spatial distribution, modifications by stone tools, and skeletal part representations. " (Defleur A. et al. Neanderthal cannibalism at Moula-Guercy, Ardeche, France. Science. 286:128-131. 1999).

Neanderthal cut marks on bone
A bone fragment from the skull of a juvenile Neanderthal. It shows where razor sharp flint knives were used to fillet out the chewing muscles of the lower jaw (Photo from Defleur article).

Grisly Evidence

A French and American team digging at the Moula-Guercy site have unearthed grisly evidence of cannibalism. Using stone implements they dismembered and removed all flesh from their animal kills. After the kills were butchered they then used stone hammers and anvils to break open the long appendage bones to get at the marrow. Many of the skulls were bashed open to remove the brains. The bones were then thrown into a skeletal trash heap. Evidence now shows that these early humans did the same to their fellow Neanderthals.

"The assessment of cannibalism in a prehistoric context depends on the demonstration that faunal and hominid remains were subjected to similar treatment. In the case of Moula-Guercy, there is clear evidence to this effect.

"All crania and limb bones of both taxa are broken. Bone fracture is presumably related to processing for marrow and brains in both Homo and Cervus. The patterns of bone modification observed on the hominid and deer assemblages are also in parallel.

"We interpret these data to indicate that the hominid and deer carcasses were butchered in a similar way, with the objective being the removal of soft tissues and marrow. An inference of cannibalism is therefore warranted for Moula-Guercy level XV. We find no evidence that modifications to the hominid or deer bones from Moula-Guercy represents any form of mortuary ritual for either species." (ibid.)

At the Moula-Guercy cave site, two adults, two juveniles and two children, possibly all belonging to the same family, were butchered, eaten and then discarded on a trash heap. All the human bones were broken open for the extraction of marrow. The only bones not violently smashed were the foot and hand bones, which are too small to contain marrow.

The Neanderthal bodies were dismembered and then the arm and leg bones had all their flesh removed. Marks on other bones clearly show that the tongue of one of the younger Neanderthals was filleted out. The heads of both of the younger ones had the chewing muscles violently sliced off with razor sharp flint knives.

"The temporalis muscle was removed from two of the immature cranial vaults. Cut marks on the lingual surface of the juvenile mandible show that the tongue was cut out. Cut marks on the femoral shafts show that the thigh musculature was removed . . .

"These bone modifications indicate that the human individuals were defleshed and disarticulated. After this, the marrow cavity was exposed by a hammer-on-anvil technique. " (ibid.).

Cannibalism has been found at many Neanderthal and Homo erectus sites.


The fossil record of early man reveals how violent and brutal the world was before the flood. Neanderthal fossils support the wicked behavior described in Genesis 6. Evidence for the wholesale slaughter of humans, and subsequent cannibalism, is found in the cast off fossil remnants laying on the trash heap of many an excavated site. The bones of fellow human beings were butchered, cut apart, and then cast into garbage pits.

The skeletal remains of the fossil record are proof of the violence early man carried out and experienced. The wickedness of their world was such that the solution God chose to implement was to put mankind out of his misery through a worldwide flood. Eight people were saved, however, to repopulate the earth after it was cleansed.

Recommended Articles
Who Is Neanderthal Man?
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What Does Thou Shall Not Kill Mean?
How Does Science Prove the Bible?
Man's Migration after the Flood Map
When Did Dinosaurs Exist?
What Did Noah's Ark Look Like?
Did Cave Men Come before Jesus?

Excerpts taken from
Wickedness of the Pre-Flood World
by Arnold C. Mendez