Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Blogging in 2008 Okay, so technically, yesterday's post was the first of the year, but that was a non-news story so really this one is the first true archaeology post of 2008. Hence, we make it a memorable one:

Grisly discovery of headless bodies gives insight into justice Saxon style
The dozen skeletons – 10 without their heads – were discovered by archaeologists in the late 1960s in a Bronze Age barrow at Walkington Wold, sparking
theories that it has been the site of a massacre, a series of
executions or even a Celtic head cult.

But a new study by two Yorkshire archaeologists, involving radiocarbon dating and a re-analysis of the bones, has uncovered gruesome new evidence about how the victims –all men – met their deaths.

Following their re-evaluation, Jo Buckberry, from Bradford University and Dawn Hadley, from Sheffield University have confirmed the site was an execution cemetery, maybe used for as long as 200 years.

The two main indicators of executions are cut marks on the bones and the lack of mandibles, the latter interpreted as being missing due to displaying the heads in some way.