Danish students find hundreds of Iron Age remains

Students at the University of Aarhus excavating a site in Jutland have uncovered the remains of more than 200 Iron Age people thought to have been sacrificed after a battle 2000 years ago.

“This was a defeated army that was sacrificed to the lake at the time. The majority of remains are large arm and leg bones, skulls, shoulder blades and pelvises,” said Ejvind Hertz, curator from Skanderborg Museum and excavation leader.

According to Hertz, the 200 victims found so far are just a small fragment of what lies in the area, which has only been partially excavated, and estimates suggest that the figure could run to well over one thousand.

It’s an unusual find not just because of its size, but also because usually sacrificial victims were buried with their weapons. Hertz thinks that the lake site may have been dedicated to one god, then another site nearby dedicated to another god might have gotten the weapons.

Click here for a great rundown of earlier weapons finds. Interesting note: the weapons seem to have been deliberately damaged; swords were snapped into pieces and the bosses torn out of shields.

I wonder if the people were dismembered as well, hence the remains so far being specific kinds of bones rather than skeletons.

Now the original 3 week expedition has been extended another 4 weeks. Those students must be peeing their pants with excitement. JEALOUS.

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2 Comments »

Comment by samarkeolog
2009-07-12 07:19:29

We could sacrifice the students to the site, then take it for ourselves…

Comment by livius drusus
2009-07-12 09:12:13

I like the way you think. Dibs on the bright red shield!

 
 
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