Victims of ‘human sacrifice’ among skeletons discovered at prehistoric settlement

The stays of 26 individuals from the Iron Age and Roman intervals had been discovered, together with a girl together with her ft lower off and her arms sure behind her head, and one other individual with their cranium positioned by their ft.

A set of instruments from totally different time intervals was additionally discovered within the settlement, which was found by engineers laying water pipes in Oxfordshire, England.

Archaeologists inspecting the stays consider the individuals discovered had been from the identical neighborhood concerned in creating the Uffington White Horse, a prehistoric chalk sculpture on a close-by hill.

A skeleton found with its skull placed at its feet.

“These findings open a singular window into the lives and deaths of communities we regularly know just for their monumental buildings, corresponding to hillforts or the Uffington White Horse,” Paolo Guarino, Cotswold Archaeology mission officer, mentioned in an announcement.

“The outcomes from the evaluation of the artefacts, animal bones, the human skeletons and the soil samples will assist us add some essential info to the historical past of the communities that occupied these lands so a few years in the past,” he added.

A collection of prehistoric flint tools.
An animal skull, probably from a horse, placed in one of the Iron Age pits.

The group has eliminated the stays from the positioning for a forensic investigation. They had been discovered throughout work on a Thames Water mission aimed toward defending an Oxfordshire chalk stream.

The findings “supplied a glimpse into the beliefs and superstitions of individuals residing in Oxfordshire earlier than the Roman conquest,” mentioned Neil Holbrook, chief government of Cotswold Archaeology. “Proof elsewhere means that burials in pits may need concerned human sacrifice.”

“The invention challenges our perceptions in regards to the previous, and invitations us to attempt to perceive the beliefs of people that lived and died greater than 2,000 years in the past,” he added.

The dig site, near Letcombe Bassett in Oxfordshire, England.
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