The bones of dozens of Iron Age warriors found in Denmark were collected and ritually mutilated after spending months on the battlefield, archaeologists say.
At least six months after the soldiers died, their bones were collected, scraped of remaining flesh, sorted and dumped in a lake. Some were handled in a truly bizarre manner; for instance, four pelvises were found strung on a stick.
"We think it’s a kind of ritual closure of the war," said Mads Kähler Holst, project manager at the dig and head of the department of archaeology at the Moesgård Museum in Denmark. The victors seem to have carried out their gruesome work on a spit of land extending into the lake where the bones were dumped, the researchers said.
The graves were found at a variety of depths with some up to 1.50 m deep. Each burial contained the deceased once contained within a wooden coffin, now completely rotted away.
An examination of the contents of these burials allowed them to be split into three main groups or periods of inhumation
- Graves with artefacts and ornaments dating to 5th century AD.
- Fewer grave goods are in evidence after 5th century AD as the population has become Christian.
- 7th century AD burials are characterised with individuals wearing simple or highly decorated belt buckles of bronze or iron.
In one of the earlier graves, archaeologists have unearthed the skeleton of an adult man with a particularly rich assemblage of twenty grave goods consisting of ceramics, glassware, a bronze basin, tin plate, even a wooden bucket with bronze strapping, a decorated Frankish axe, spear, dagger in his belt and silver coin deposited on the mouth. This man went well dressed into the afterlife, as he was even wearing a pair of shoes.
Your teeth can tell stories about you, and not just that you always forget to floss.
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-07-teeth-body-tale.html#jCp
A female octopus will defend her eggs to the death—literally. In species that live in shallow water, the mother guards a den where her eggs are clustered. An open-sea octopus carries her eggs in her arms, protecting them as she drifts through the water. And deep-sea octopuses shelter their eggs while perched in one spot. A new study shows that she may stay there for years.
Researchers observed one female watching over her offspring for almost four and a half years. That means the deep-sea species Graneledone boreopacifica has officially become the longest known brooder in the animal kingdom. She pays the ultimate price, wasting away until she dies protecting her young. But the reproductive payoff is in her octopus prodigies: Hatchlings of this species are the largest and “most developmentally advanced known” among octopus, giving them an upper tentacle in the evolutionary game of survival.
Vintage photo of the mummies of Capuchin Catacombs in Palermo ca. 1870.
DISTRAUGHT Australian relatives of Malaysia Airlines MH17 victims have been asked to provide intimate information about their smallest loved ones, at a time when their grief is most raw.
Because many of the victims on the doomed July 17 flight were children, police and health workers visiting relatives around the world have asked for treasured children’s finger paintings or other items that may contain prints such as baby bottles.
Footprints of the children, taken from the children’s rooms or bathrooms, may have also been taken.
If identification is still a problem in the coming weeks, officials may be forced to request neonatal blood samples that may have been preserved from birth.
Read more at News.com.au
Kazakhstani archaeologists have discovered artefacts of historical significance during excavation of the ancient settlement of Kultobe in South Kazakhstan, tengrinews.kz reports.
The three mounds in Ordabasy district in South Kazakhstan Oblast contained remains of 12 people, including that of a child. They were all buried at different times.
Read more at the Archaeology News Network
X-ray of a ballet dancer’s feet
The ankle joint connects the lower leg to the foot and, in dance, allows for pointing the toe (plantar flexion) and flexing the foot during plié (dorsiflexion). The ankle also allows for inversion and eversion, producing turn-in and turn-out, respectively. The 26 bones in the foot work in concert with ligamentous support and muscular force to create three separate arches, critical for shock absorption during jumps. Structurally, the ideal foot for ballet is considered to be a flexible “square foot”, which has equal-length first and second toes.
Read more: http://bit.ly/W3Zaoq