martes, 8 de octubre de 2013

1500 year old Swedish fortress massacre revealed (Swedden)

Archaeologists at Lund University have found what they describe as a moment frozen in time by a brutal massacre, leaving a fort untouched since the 5th century.
Excavation of the Iron Age Sandby borg (ringfort) on Öland, an island off the southeastern coast of Sweden,  has revealed a number of bodies, lying where they fell, in one case, it seems that a couple were cut down from behind as they ran through the house, another body lies in a doorway. The project has been running since 2010 and is directed by Helene Victor for the Department of Archaeology in the local Kalmar Läns museum. It was initially reported last year that the site contained the remains of the unfortunate inhabitants.
Migration period
During what is termed the Migration Period in Scandinavia it was customary to cremate the dead, and it is rare to find uncremated remains. The archaeological site therefore offers important clues about the period, and although five bodies have been discovered in one house alone, human bones have been found in other parts of the fort, making it highly likely that many more bodies are yet to be uncovered.
Valuable artefacts have also been recovered, raising questions over why they were not plundered in the wake of the massacre and to ensure there is no modern day looting the team have carefully conducted a full recovery operation of the whole site to remove all precious metals.
Only a few houses have been excavated so far, and the archaeologists believe that hundreds of people could have lived within the walls of the fort. Lund University archaeologist Nicoló Dell’Unto is creating 3D-models of the site, using groundbreaking 3D technology, in order to reconstruct how the massacre unfolded, and also create a more complex and complete overview of the site.
“Using 3D-modeling gives us the unprecedented opportunity to see all the bodies simultaneously, even though the skeletons were removed one by one”, says Nicoló Dell’Unto.
Why the fort has been left untouched for 1,500 years remains a mystery and one theory the archaeologists present is that the location became taboo after the massacre, but the archaeologists hope the answer will become clearer with further excavations.
“It’s a day in life of the Migration Period, and that’s completely unique. We have nothing to compare it to”, concludes Helene Wilhelmson.

Source: Past Horizons: http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/10/2013/1500-year-old-swedish-fortress-massacre-revealed

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