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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Skulls And Spears: Vikings Found In Dorset

 

Fifty skulls found in a burial pit in Dorset probably belonged to Vikings who had been slaughtered by our Anglo-Saxon ancestors, archaeologists have revealed.

The decapitated warriors were discovered last year on Ridgeway Hill in Weymouth during escavations for a new road.

The mass war grave astonished archaeologists who have spent the last year carefully removing and analysing the remains.
They are thought to date from between 910 and 1030 AD, when England was ruled by Saxon kings and Vikings from Denmark had begun a second wave of raids on the South Coast.
"Any mass grave is a relatively rare find, but to find one on this scale from this period of history is extremely unusual.
"(It) presents an incredible opportunity to learn more about what is happening in Dorset at this time."
Mr Score said it was possible to make a "strong inference" that the bodies were all Vikings.

Teeth samples from 10 of the men showed they grew up in countries where the climate was colder than Britain, with one thought to have come from within the Arctic Circle.
Tests showed they ate a high protein diet, which is comparable with other sites uncovered in Sweden.
Injuries to the jaw and head had been inflicted by a sharp bladed weapon, and cuts to the pelvis, chest and stomach show signs of a bloody and brutal battle.
There are also indications of defensive injuries to the hands.
Two healed fractures are unlikely to have received medical attention and in one case, left the victim with one leg that was 5cm shorter than the other.
Sky News Source

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