8,000-Year-Old Skulls Found in Sweden were Brutally Smashed and Mounted on Stakes

8,000-Year-Old Skulls Found in Sweden were Brutally Smashed and Mounted on Stakes

Archaeologists digging at the bottom of a former lake in Sweden have discovered an ancient burial site containing 8,000-year-old human skulls mounted on wooden stakes.

The gruesome find at the Kanaljorden site in the town of Motala in the central Sweden has left researchers baffled as, according to a study published in the journal Antiquity, it the challenges modern “understanding of the handling of the dead during the European Mesolithicera.”

The skulls showed signs of blunt force trauma that was “probably the result of interpersonal violence, the study read. However, some injuries show signs of healing, meaning that blunt force trauma is not necessarily what killed them.

© Fredrik Hallgren

© Fredrik Hallgren

© Fredrik Hallgren

© Fredrik Hallgren

Some 11 adults, only one of which had a jawbone, were found at the ancient burial site. While it was difficult for researchers to determine their sex, at least three were female and six or seven were males. Interestingly, the injuries differed according to sex. Men tended to have truma on the top or front of their head, while women were injured at the back of their heads. Also unearthed was the entire skeleton of an infant who was likely stillborn or died shortly after birth, the researchers said.

 

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