10 Recently Discovered Ancient Skeletons That Tell Curious Tales

10 Recently Discovered Ancient Skeletons That Tell Curious Tales
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Human skeletons can be unusual, even in the most normal of positions. Ancient bones have a particular knack for dropping jaws and not simply their own. Societies who lived long ago sometimes buried their dead in strange ways for reasons that defy even what the experts know their way of life. But enigmatic skeletons are not the only ones found at odd angles. Victims of feuds, murder, and failed rebellions make a tragic return, while double graves reveal people with surprising gestures and placements. So, here is the 10 Recently Discovered Ancient Skeletons That Tell Curious Tales, So, here is a list of 10 Recently Discovered Ancient  Skeletons That Tell Curious Tales..

10 Hand Holding Men

Hand Holding Men

The bubonic plague that swept through London was something out of a bad dream. The 1348 wave butchered more than half of the population. Nearly 50,000 victims received hasty burials in Smithfield. One grave held two men holding hands; their heads turned to look to the right.

Another skull was additionally found with the pair. The men were aged in their 40s and arranged in identical positions, with one man’s left hand holding the right of his partner. They died sometime in the early 15th century, meaning they were conceived after the horrors of 1348, but since they were interred in a plague field, it appears they did not survive the later waves that continued to cull London’s citizens.

While the grave had been dug with care, no remnants of coffins or burial cloth were found. If they were placed directly in the ground, it is possible that the hand holding might be unplanned. Who they were, why they faced the same way or how the older man received a defensive arm break remains a mystery. The extra skull appears to be from an older grave disturbed by gravediggers.

9 The Gender Bender

The Gender Bender

The Corded Ware culture was a Stone Age individuals who buried their dead according to gender. When men died, the grave was filled with weapons and devices, and the body was placed facing west. Women went into the afterlife with domestic ware while looking into the opposite direction. In 2011, analysts found a Corded Ware man outside of Prague.

When he died about 5,000 years back, his community arranged the grave, and him, as a woman. Resting on his left side, the caveman confronted east, and household jugs and pots kept him company. Considering that his people, who lived from 2,800-2,500 B.C., were exceptionally strict about funeral rites, this is probably to be a blunder on their part.

The archaeologists who found the strange skeleton believe it could signify the earliest discovery in the Czech Republic of somebody with a different sexual orientation and that it was accepted by the community. Skeptic scholars say that identification of a skeleton’s gender (by looking at pelvic differences) is about 90 percent accurate but not trustworthy.

8 Feuds In The Desert

Feuds In The Desert

Over the course of 20 years, archaeologists considered 170 bodies in the Sonoran Desert. They were all laid to rest between 2100 B.C. and A.D. 50. Throughout the ages, burial traditions in the Sonoran changed little. The dead were respectfully placed on their side in a curled-up position. The last resting place was then decorated with shells, crystals, bone tools, and pipes of stone.

Eight of the graves, found near the Mexican-US border, did not fit any known custom. The skeletons were in awkward postures, almost looking disrespectfully discarded. Some died viciously. There were broken bones, and one woman’s head had been set alight. A younger man was found with four apparent arrows inside him. There were no custom or preventative measures such as heavy stones or dismemberment that might have explained the corpses as victims of witch hunts or sacrifices. The way that the fierce treatment continued after death indicated the funeral was not a happy one. Researchers believe the desecration was reserved for victims of blood feuds.

7 Beshtasheni

Beshtasheni

Recently, an ancient cemetery called Beshtasheni turned up two headless body and a head without a body. The graveyard consisted of 16 graves left behind by Late Bronze Age and early Iron Age clans in southeastern Georgia. A young couple occupied a double tomb.

The man was aged between 19-25, and the woman was around 23-25 years old. Their headless skeleton were in the fetal position. Laying on her right side, similar to her partner, the probable cause of the woman’s death came in the painful form of two bronze arrows. One had struck her in the leg and the other lodged close to heart. Their heads were never found, but another appeared up in its own grave.

The girl it once belonged to was around 17-25 when she died. Her skull was showed on a plate and surrounded by offerings of ceramics, beads, and metal objects. Nearly all the tombs contained such a Richness of artifacts that it surprised even the experts. It stays unclear whether the missing body parts were intentionally removed before burial, or somehow not available due to some misfortune.

6 Cylon’s Men

Cylon’s Men

When engineers began digging outside of Athens, the idea was to began clearing the land for new cultural centers. Instead, some human bones rose to the surface. After all were tidied and cleared, a tragic sight met the living. Eighty men, nearly half of them shackled, were sitting in neat rows. The majority were healthy, young People in the prime of their lives.

Two vases unearthed from the mass grave allowed researchers to date the site to 650-625 B.C. The date range placed the group in a volatile period for Athens. One notable event occurred in 632 B.C. An Olympic champion called cylon dreamed of control over the city. To accomplish this, he raised an army, but when the people of Athens failed to join his resistance, Cylon and his men were trapped inside a temple and slaughtered. There is no better evidence that these were Cylon’s followers, other than the time bracket being right and the shackles. The creepy, unearthly collection of skeletons is uncommon, though. Not many remains from the lower social classes have ever been found, and these make for a rich pull to study.

5 The Murdered Pict

The Murdered Pict

Excavations in Scotland conveyed an unexpected skeleton in a cave. The man was on his back and cross-legged. Beach stones weighed down his appendages. Found in the Black Isle, Ross-shire, the presence of human remains was astonishing.

They also find fireplaces and rubble from iron-working dating back to the time when he died. Finding a burial inside what was probably a smithing workshop is a puzzle to archaeologists. When forensic anthropologists took over, they made a horrible discovery. The 1,400-year-old man was murdered sometime between A.D. 430-630, also known as Scotland’s Pictish period.

The attack he suffered was methodical and awful. An object with a circular cross section was crushed into the right side of his face, shattering the teeth. A second swing, bearing traces of the same weapon, broke his jaw from the left. As he toppled down on ground, a severe blow was delivered to the back of his head. Once on the ground, a final thrust pierced his skull from one side to the other. It is obscure why he was killed, but he was buried with care, inside a dark alcove. A recent reconstruction of his face showed that he was young and nice looking.

The bones were discovered in a cave in the Black Isle by researchers based at the University of Dundee.The man suffered a gruesome fate, with at least five blows having been made to the man, fracturing his skull.Forensic anthropologist Sue Black was able to describe in detail the extent of the attack and digitally reconstruct what he was thought to look like.Professor Black said: “This is a fascinating skeleton in a remarkable state of preservation which has been expertly recovered.“From studying his remains we learned a little about his short life but much more about his violent death.“As you can see from the facial reconstruction he was a striking young man, but he met a very brutal end, suffering a minimum of five severe injuries to his head.“

“The first impact was by a circular cross-section implement that he broke his teeth on the right side.

“The second may have been the same implement, used like a fighting stick which he broke his jaw on the left.

“The third resulted in fracturing to the back of his head as he fell from the blow to his jaw with a tremendous force possibly onto a hard object perhaps stone.

“The fourth impact was intended to end his life , probably the same weapon was driven through his skull from one side and out the other as he lay on the ground.

“The fifth was not in keeping with the injuries caused in the other four where a hole, larger than that caused by the previous weapon, was made in the top of the skull.

Excavation leader Steven Birch said: “Having specialised in prehistoric cave archaeology in Scotland for some years now, I am fascinated with the results.“Here, we have a man who has been brutally killed, but who has been laid to rest in the cave with some consideration – placed on his back, within a dark alcove, and weighed down by beach stones.“While we don’t know why the man was killed, the placement of his remains gives us insight into the culture of those who buried him.“Perhaps his murder was the result of interpersonal conflict; or was there a sacrificial element relating to his death?”

4 Dark Side Of The Etruscans

Dark Side Of The Etruscans

The Etruscan civilization remains standout amongst the most fascinating cultures. Peaking around 900 B.C., they were advanced and artistic. From them, the French learned about wine making and the Romans how to built streets. Their grave goods and craftsmanship revealed an eclectic, good-natured people who respected their ladies. One skeleton brings a little-known aspect about the Etruscans to the fore—that they additionally had a cruel side.

In Tuscany, archaeologists found an Etruscan burial with a 20-30-year-old man inside. He was still in the chains he had died in 2,500 years back, leaving one arm awkwardly twisted. Iron around his neck and ankles weighed right around five pounds. The shackles were a complex system designed to prevent normal walking. The metal collar was once connected to a wooden object (now gone) that ran behind the neck. Also long since degraded, were leather or material cords that connected the punishing tool from his neck to the feet. This first-ever Etruscan grave with a shackled person was unexpectedly found in a necropolis containing ordinary burials.

3 The Yamal Four

The Yamal Four

When researchers opened medieval graves in the Yamal peninsula, they found something odd. The archaeological site Yur-Yakha III is an eleventh -century cemetery where four graves defied the norm. Unique for the time, the skeletons were crouching in a fetal-like fold.

There are no similar graves on the peninsula. Other sites produced bodies in expanded positions, which was normal for Yamal’s medieval period. Between the man and three women existed an abnormal amount of serious physical afflictions. Just some of the conditions included shoulder dislocation, dental abnormalities, sinusitis, and lower spinal trauma caused by giving birth. The women were young, in their late teens or early 20s and the man around 50.

His state was particularly diseased—and scorched. He had hyperostosis, a condition where bone tissue cannot stop growing, and as a child, he experienced more ailment and starvation. After death, his body had been briefly set on fire. Enough to burn soft tissue but not the bones. There is no record of such a custom or sacrifice from the region, which deepens the puzzle even more.

2 Sacrificial Twist

Sacrificial Twist

Along Peru’s north coast, ancient prisoners-of-war could anticipate to one fate. During gory ceremonies, such men were sacrificed. Recently, specialists encountered a different version when they found six skeletons near the city of Chiclayo. Found at a temple in Pucalá, they had clearly been sacrificed. Surprisingly, the remains belonged to healthy young women.

They were slaughtered around A.D. 850, and their bodies arranged in odd positions. Four were heaped into one grave. The other two were on sloping platforms, feet in the air. Also breaking with custom is that it appears to have been a private event held within the temple. Sacrifice was often public, however the women apparently died behind high walls obscuring the ritual.

They were buried beneath the floor of the mud-brick complex, but unlike other north-south Moche burials, they were aligned in an east-west line. The only thing they had in common with their male partners was that the bodies lacked several ribs. This fits with a known purification custom of sacrificed individuals being left outside so vultures could consume their organs.

1 The Mesolithic Half-Burial

The Mesolithic Half-Burial

During the Mesolithic, hunter-gatherers never remained in one area for long. When nine skeletons were found just 50 miles north of Berlin, archaeologists excitedly acknowledged they were looking at one of the earliest permanent cemeteries in Europe. It was used between 6400-500 B.C., and the oddest resident was a man who had been buried upright. Not exclusively does he stand in a vertical grave but he was only partially covered up.

After the young man died, about 7,000 years back, he was placed in a standing position with his back against the wall of the five-foot pit. To steady the body, the hole was filled with sand to above knee level. The most strange behavior was that his community left him there, half exposed, until the upper body disintegrated from decay, and predators had a good nibble on his arms. Only then was the tomb completed. The strange sight was filled up and sealed by lighting a fire on top. Since the skeleton was deferentially surrounded with grave goods, researchers believe the unique funeral was not a form of punishment.


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P. Natasha Covers Classical Archaeology news and has been with Histecho since 2017. She has a Master's degree in MA Archaeology from New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting program. A California native, she also holds a Bachelor of science in molecular biology and a Master of Science in biology from the University of California, San Diego.