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Uncanny Archaeology of Halloween

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Author Topic: Uncanny Archaeology of Halloween  (Read 2487 times)
Vlad the Impaler
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Posts: 1791

« Reply #30 on: October 30, 2009, 02:13:58 am »

Excavation in area B, in the western part of the lower town, revealed clusters of human bones from bodies that had been dismembered. The remains, co-mingled with animal bones, were then carefully rearranged, sometimes in symmetrical patterns, on an outside ground surface with shallow depressions. A small number of sherds on this surface indicate that the area was in use during Hellenistic times, and two distinctive ones place it within the third century B.C. Again, only silt eroded from the fortification walls covers the bone deposits. Bone cluster 1 is the most complex. At the top was the skeleton of a young woman aged 16-21, but where her skull should be there was instead a lower jaw of an adult male over 50, the only bone of this person in the deposit. Beneath the young woman was a 35-45-year-old female whose legs had been detached and placed on either side of her torso. When we excavated bone cluster 1 we thought that the lower woman had been strangled because of the distorted angle within the spinal column. Analysis of the bones showed that we were dead wrong. Instead, the skull and first five vertebrae of the young woman had been placed at the top of the older woman's spinal column. Decapitation is obvious. There are no cut marks on the human bone, but placed around the young woman's feet were animal bones bearing cut marks from butchery. The skull of a 20-35-year-old male was found in bone cluster 2. Decayed wood in the opening at the skull's base through which the spinal cord passes suggests that this individual's severed head had been mounted on a wooden stake for display, a practice documented in Celtic Europe. Scattered around the skull were fragments of an ass's lower jaw, a pig's lower jaw, a cow's upper jaw, two cow pelvic bones, and the foreleg of a dog.
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