Skip to comments.Mass grave in Dorset contains remains of executed Viking warriors
Posted on 03/12/2010 4:37:55 PM PST by atomic conspiracy
The captives, all well built young men in their late teens and early 20s, were herded to the place of execution. Fifty-four in total, their heads were hacked off and stacked neatly in a pile. The bodies were tossed into a pit where they remained a tangle of limbs and headless torsos until archaeologists following the route of a new road stumbled across the remains last year. Not the killing fields of Iraq or the Balkans but the Ridgeway, near Weymouth, an ancient track across the now tranquil Dorset countryside, where one thousand years ago a long forgotten massacre took place. The victims, a mystery when the discovery of the mass grave was first revealed in The Times, have been identified. They were Viking raiders who had come to Britain in search of slaves and plunder. The discovery, during construction of a relief road for sailing events in the 2012 Olympics, led to a host of theories. At first it was thought they were Iron Age warriors killed by the invading Roman Legions during fighting for Maiden Castle, Britains largest hill fort. That theory was ruled out when radio carbon tests dated the bones to between AD910 and AD1030, a thousand years later. Now tests on isotopes in the enamel of their teeth has found the men came from further afield. They had sailed across the North Sea from what is now Scandinavia. At least one of the Norse men had lived much of his life inside the Arctic Circle. Study of the bones has revealed the brutality of their deaths. Their heads were not cleanly parted from their shoulders with the swing of an executioners axe, but hacked off with swords as the naked warriors tried to defend themselves with their bare hands.
(Excerpt) Read more at timesonline.co.uk ...
Looks like some locals got a little revenge on some Vikings.
With my luck, If I hooked up with her I would get plundered but not raped.
Viking “warriors”? Try *Viking* invaders. (Iknow that “warriors” isn’t your terminology, atom. con.) The British has lived through Viking invasions before, and knew what a Viking victory would mean.
Good on ye, my ancestors.
It is interesting to find out the truth about these skeletons. I remember the dispute when the grave was discovered, and it was theorized the killing was committed by the Romans.
Pointless to apply today’s standards to the Middle Ages.
I imagine the commie ‘RATS are going to want to go after Bush and Cheney for this too.
I wonder if there is anything in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Bede, Nennius, William of Malmesbury, Aethelward’s Chronicle, or Geoffrey of Monmouth that sheds light on this event. I suppose if there were, they would have mentioned it. Probably just an unrecorded vigilante action by stalwart Saxon freeholders, God love them. Perhaps we have something to learn from them.
How do they know this or is the writer working on a romance novel?
Sounds like some reparations are clearly in order here. Innocent Swedish tourists murdered by the thuggish locals. Is there a Swedish version of Al Sharpton who can get on this?
And an antisocial behavior order against any Brit that looked crosseyed at them, no matter what they were doing to provoke the agressive eye rolling.
I know that King Alfred the Great of Wessex reigned from 871-899. It was he that defeated the Danes a number of times. Curiously enough the name Wessex (West Saxons) was disgarded for that area- being Dorset and Somerset. Yet the East Saxons (Essex) with Middle Saxons (Middlesex) and South Saxons (Sussex) still bear the name.
Other Saxons bribed the Danes with Danegeld (gold). The nasty beggers reneged on their promise to leave that area alone. They came very often. More gold or else! It was King Alfred that stood up to them.
Please excuse this long screed and in case you all ready know this history, it may inform others. The men could be casualties of real warfare. Awful to contemplate as it is today. I know that weapons were so valuable, they were quickly taken from the dead. Perhaps a coin or two may be found (unlikely) but one never knows. This might date the event.
Thanks for the pings. I screwed up and pinged the first one I saw. But anyway, here's a link to the first one:
· Discover · Nat Geographic · Texas AM Anthro News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo · Google ·
· The Archaeology Channel · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·
Not if they were stupid drunk! (And can the archaeologists tell us that?)
Dey vas uncles uv mine.
Note the clue that their heads were found not to be attached to their shoulders, but found nearby...perhaps they had, after death, simply fallen out of their arse.
“Pointless to apply todays standards to the Middle Ages.”
Except, well, the Vikings WERE mauraders and did rape and pillage and well, could make one mad, even if it WAS the Middle Ages.