Friday, March 12, 2010
News of the Old: Skeletons found in mass grave are executed Vikings c. 1000 AD
Fifty-one decapitated skeletons found in a burial pit in Dorset were those of Scandinavian Vikings, scientists say. Mystery has surrounded the identity of the group since they were discovered at Ridgeway Hill, near Weymouth, in June. Analysis of teeth from 10 of the men revealed they had grown up in countries with a colder climate than Britain's. Archaeologists from Oxford believe the men were probably executed by local Anglo Saxons in front of an audience sometime between AD 910 and AD 1030. The Anglo Saxons were increasingly falling victim to Viking raids and eventually the country was ruled by a Danish king. The mass grave is one of the largest examples of executed foreigners buried in one spot.
Source: BBC, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/dorset/8563377.stm