MYSTERY surrounds the invention of a 7,000-year-old mass grave which comprises 38 skeletons – and just one had not been decapitated.

The burial website was found by archaeologists at Vrable-Velke Lehemby in Slovakia, one of many largest settlements of the European Neolithic period.


The decapitated skeletons had been found at a Neolithic burial website in SlovakiaCredit: Institute for Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology

Preliminary research counsel the heads had been intentionally eliminated after dying, with just one skeleton, a baby below the age of 6, had its cranium intact, a examine has indicated.

Archaeologists at the moment are attempting to work out why the heads had been so methodically eliminated with theories saying it may have been meant as a warning, a funeral ritual or as a option to honour the useless.

Katharina Fuchs, an anthropologist at Kiel College, Germany, who labored on the did mentioned the headless our bodies set themselves other than conventional burials present in the identical area.


Preliminary examinations of the stays counsel the decapitations had been carried out deliberately, in response to Fuchs.

She mentioned that on the our bodies that had been preserved effectively sufficient to have the ability to see the neck bones, the primary vertebra, instantly below the cranium, was nonetheless intact.

This might counsel the top had been reduce off utilizing very sharp instruments, somewhat than severed throughout fight.

Katharina instructed Enterprise Insider: “When you have got a violent decapitation, like within the medieval ages with a sword or with an axe, you’ll see reduce marks and in addition crushed vertebra within the areas of the neck.”

Nevertheless, Martin Furholt, a professor of prehistory and social archaeology at Kiel College and the challenge chief, mentioned it was unclear if the heads had been eliminated earlier than or after dying.

Analysis has detailed stories of Neolithic individuals decapitating our bodies after their dying and taking the top with them.

Prof Furholt instructed the information outlet: “Individuals typically saved these heads of their homes, or deposited them elsewhere.”


Fuchs added that it was completely possible that these heads had been eliminated as a violent act of warfare or deterrence, with the heads being taken as trophies.

Two different notable mass graves, at Talheim and Herxheim, have been discovered within the space.

At Talheim, Germany, the stays of 34 males, ladies and youngsters had been found and it’s believed they had been massacred by a neighbouring village and left to rot.

Whereas at Herxheim, additionally in Germany, some 450 people had been present in a ditch, the our bodies had been utterly dismembered with reduce marks on the bones and skulls.

This might point out flesh was reduce from the bones earlier than the our bodies had been thrown within the pit.

A examine in 2009 urged this might be proof of formality cannibalism, though this speculation has been rejected by different teachers who see this website as an enormous necropolis.

Furholt mentioned Neolithic individuals could have considered the our bodies as having magical powers and their our bodies helped to bolster the energy of the palisades.

Vrable-Velke Lehemby consisted of three settlements which had been occupied between BC 5,250 and BC 4,950.

Earlier excavations of the positioning had uncovered different headless skeletons however these had been unfold out extra sparsely and interspersed with extra regular burials.

There could even be extra our bodies within the grave however Fuchs mentioned they needed to cease digging as a result of they had been restricted to simply over 5 weeks of excavation.

Bones discovered on the fringe of the grave point out it continues on additional than what has been found to this point.


Archaeologists try to find why the heads had been removedCredit: Institute for Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology

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