Poor fighters It's not clear why women were frequent victims of violence.
Domestic violence could be a factor, but proving it requires looking for repeat injuries and wounds to the ribs and torso, Fibiger said. Given that skulls and skeletons are jumbled up at these sites, and many skeletons weren't preserved, that's not possible, Fibiger said.
More likely is that women suffered fatal injuries, because they couldn't fight ferociously in raids, she told Live Science.
Men may have trained from a young age to fight, whereas women were probably tasked with child rearing.
That would have slowed them down, "because you're probably going to try and protect your children rather than being able to properly defend yourself," Fibiger said.
The findings are impressive, said Christian Meyer, an anthropology doctoral candidate at the University of Mainz in Germany, who was not involved in the study.
"It's one of the first that really looks at a really large sample size, and it draws from a larger region," Meyer said.