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Palaeontology

Mystery surrounds smashed Stone Age skulls

By T.K. Randall
August 19, 2012 · Comment icon 5 comments

Image Credit: CC 3.0 Bengt Fredriksson
Collections of skulls separated from their skeletons have been proving a puzzle to archaeologists.
A collection of 10,000-year-old Stone Age skulls discovered in Syria are particularly mystifying because it appears that the bodies were dug up several years after burial so that the heads could be removed and then buried together elsewhere. Particularly unusual is the fact that the skulls show signs of being smashed up with considerable force. Some experts believe that in some cultures deceased young men were still considered a threat to the living.

The skulls belonged to individuals aged between 18 and 30 and by examining the damage experts were able to determine that it was primarily the faces that were smashed with the top and bottom of the skulls still intact.
An unusual cluster of Stone Age skulls with smashed-in faces has been found carefully separated from the rest of their skeletons. They appear to have been dug up several years after being buried with their bodies, separated, then reburied.


Source: New Scientist | Comments (5)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by pallidin 12 years ago
Not sure what to mke of it. Interesting article though.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Golly Buster 12 years ago
Ibañez reckons Stone Age people believed they would receive some benefit - perhaps the strength of the young men the skulls once belonged to - by burying them near or beneath their settlements. Why the faces were smashed in invites speculation.It may have been an act of spite or revenge, says Ibañez. Or the skulls may have been brought together to create a "community of the dead", perhaps in order to spiritually interact with the living. "The post-mortem violence suggests young men were seen as carrying a particular threat," says Stuart Campbell at the University of Manchester, UK. Destroyin... [More]
Comment icon #3 Posted by CRIPTIC CHAMELEON 12 years ago
Interesting they could of also been the remains of a defeated army as some cultures believed if you seperate the head they can't go to heaven hence cut the head of and smash the face in so they can't talk or see. ?
Comment icon #4 Posted by Harlequin Dreamer 12 years ago
Hhhmmmmm
Comment icon #5 Posted by serial slasher 12 years ago
ancient serial killer?


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