Post by Joanna on Apr 16, 2019 20:57:47 GMT -5
Iron Age Skeletons Show Evidence of Human Sacrifice
Workers preparing the way for a new water pipeline in Wantage, Oxfordshire, England, made a gruesome discovery: an ancient burial site. Archaeologists believe some of those buried there were the victims of human sacrifice. The remains date to around 1,000 BC, when the British Isles were inhabited by the ancient Celts, well before the Romans invaded Britain in AD 43. It is believed those buried at the site were linked to the well-known Uffington White Horse, a prehistoric figure carved into a nearby hillside.
Some 26 skeletons have been uncovered, along with evidence of dwellings, animal carcasses, cutting implements, pottery and a decorative comb. Neil Holbrook, chief executive of Cotswold Archaeology, said the Iron Age site gave a “fascinating” insight into the beliefs of people who populated Britain 3,000 years ago. “The new Thames Water pipeline provided us with an opportunity to examine a number of previously unknown archaeological sites,” he continued. “The Iron Age site at Childrey Warren was particularly fascinating as it provided a glimpse into the beliefs and superstitions of people living in Oxfordshire before the Roman conquest. Evidence elsewhere suggests that burials in pits might have involved human sacrifice. The discovery challenges our perceptions about the past, and invites us to try to understand the beliefs of people who lived and died” in the distant past.
The feet of one female skeleton (above) uncovered at the site were cut off and placed side-by-side. Her arms were bound behind her head.
“These findings open a unique window into the lives and deaths of communities we often know only for their monumental buildings, such as hillforts or the Uffington White Horse,” added Paolo Guarino, Cotswold Archeology project officer. “The results from the analysis of the artefacts, animal bones, the human skeletons and the soil samples will help us add some important information to the history of the communities that occupied these lands so many years ago.”
“We’ve found significant historical items on many previous upgrade projects but this is one of our biggest and most exciting yet,” Chris Rochfort, Thames Water environmental manager, explained. “This is going to have real benefits for the environment by reducing the need to take water from the Letcombe Brook, a chalk stream which is a globally rare and highly important habitat for us to protect. As a result, future generations will be able to enjoy it for years to come – and now they can also learn about their village’s secret history.”
Last year, researchers in Scotland discovered ancient artifacts at a believed to have been razed to by Vikings.
Sources: Rachel Russell, The Express, April 15, 2019; James Rogers, Fox News, April 15, 2019; and BBC News, April 15, 2019.
See also The Dark and Bloody Druids and Iron Age Bones Discovered in Denmark Reveal Bizarre Ancient Rituals.