Thursday, January 16, 2014

City of London's grisly decapitated skull mystery solved using state-of-the-art forensic techniques

Just over a quarter of a century ago, 39 skulls and a single leg bone were discovered at the London Wall, right in the heart of the City. With state-of-the-art forensic techniques, the mystery of the heads may have been solved – and the blood-thirsty findings have thrilled archaeologists.

The skulls are believed to have been the victims of Roman soldiers’ practice of “headhunting” – removing the body from the head of enemies as trophies – or even gladiatorial combat, the first discovered in the capital.

“This discovery is hugely exciting,” said Rebecca Redfern, from the Centre for Human Bioarchaeology at the Museum of London. “These remains are completely different from everything else we’ve ever found in Roman London. The levels of violence and the types of violence are very different to what we’ve seen.”

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