Wednesday, June 26, 2019
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Victims of "human sacrifices" among skeletons discovered during prehistoric occupation

The remains of 26 Iron Age and Roman times were found, including a woman with severed feet and crossed arms behind her head and another person with skulls on her feet.

A collection of tools from various periods was also found in the settlement discovered by engineers laying water pipes in Oxfordshire, England.

Archaeologists who inspect the remains believe that the individuals found were from the same community where the Uffington White Horse, a prehistoric chalk sculpture on a nearby hill, was involved.

A skeleton with the skull found at feet.

"These insights open a unique window into the lives and deaths of communities that we often only know about their monumental buildings, such as the hills or the White Uffington," said Paolo Guarino, project manager of the Cotswold Archaeological Project.

"The results of the analysis of artifacts, animal bones, human skeletons, and soil samples will help us to add important information to the history of the communities that occupied this land many years ago," he added.

A collection of prehistoric flint tools.
An animal skull, probably of a horse, placed in one of the Iron Mines.

The group removed the remains for a forensic investigation from the site. They were found while working on a Thames Water project aimed at protecting an Oxfordshire Cretaceous stream.

The results "provided insight into the beliefs and superstitions of people who lived before the Roman conquest in Oxfordshire," said Neil Holbrook, chief executive of Cotswold Archeology. "Evidence elsewhere suggests that burials in pits may have been victims of humans."

"The discovery challenges our perceptions of the past and challenges us to try to understand the beliefs of people who lived and died more than 2,000 years ago," he added.

The archaeological site near Letcombe Bassett in Oxfordshire, England.


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