(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists from the University of Siena and the University of Insubria have found that a man whose skeleton was found in 2006 in a church in northern Italy was brutally killed by swords from the back about 700 years ago.
Archaeologists discovered the victim’s skeleton in 2006 in the church of San Biagio in Chittillo, a small town in the northern Italian province of Varese.
In the new study, scientists analyzed the man’s remains using modern forensic techniques, including 3D X-ray scanning and digital microscopy of skull injuries, and reconstructed his appearance.
The man lived in the XI-XIII centuries and at the time of the murder he was from 19 to 24 years old. He received four blows to the head with a sword.
The first wound was light enough, but then he was finished off when he tried to escape. The killer stabbed from behind.
Eventually, probably exhausted and lying face down, the man received a final blow to the back of the head that caused immediate death.
According to the authors, the brutality and the many blows suggest a complex motive for the murder: the assailant was determined to finish his “job”.
All injuries were inflicted by the same bladed weapon, and the attacker acted alone.
A healed wound on the man’s forehead suggests that he had combat experience, and the features of his right shoulder blade indicate frequent archery from an early age.
The researchers were unable to identify the victim, but the burial site suggests that he could be a member of the powerful De Sitillio family, which built the church.
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