An ancient burial site full of decapitated skeletons has been found in Slovakia. Only one of them kept his head on his shoulders

(ORDO NEWS) — Archaeologists have discovered a 7,000-year-old mass grave in Slovakia containing 38 skeletons. All but one were beheaded.

The remains were found at the Vrable Velké Lehembi site in Slovakia, one of the largest European Neolithic settlements.

Early research suggests that the heads were deliberately removed after death, the study’s author reports. Only one skeleton, belonging to a child under six years of age, had a skull left in place.

Archaeologists are trying to understand why the heads were removed so methodically. Was it a warning, a funeral ritual, or a way to honor the memory of the dead?

These decapitated bodies are different from traditional burials in the same region, says Katharina Fuchs, an anthropologist at the University of Kiel, Germany, who worked on the excavations.

Early observation of the remains suggests that the decapitation was likely deliberate.

The bodies, she said, were well enough preserved to still show the neck bones, and the first vertebra, just below the skull, was intact.

This suggests that the heads were severed with very sharp tools, rather than cut off during combat.

“When there is violent decapitation, for example with a sword or an ax during a battle, you will see cuts and nicks on the bones, as well as broken vertebrae in the neck,” Fuchs said.

However, scientists do not exclude the possibility that the heads were cut off as trophies, which later could decorate the houses or front gardens of the winners.

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