Mass grave of decapitated bodies from the Stone Age found in Slovakia (photo)

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 A mass grave of headless bodies from the Stone Age was found in Slovakia (photo)

According to the researchers, these people most likely became victims of religious sacrifices. The bodies were thrown into the grave in a chaotic manner. The skeletons were lying around with outstretched arms and legs, resembling frogs.

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Archaeologists excavating at the site of a Neolithic settlement in Vrable in western Slovakia have discovered a mass grave with the decapitated remains of about three dozen people, Ancient Origins writes.

Vrable is one of the largest Stone Age settlements in Central Europe. The 50-hectare settlement dates from around 5250 to 4950 BC. and provided many interesting evidence of the Neolithic Age in Central Europe. But the most dramatic discovery so far is the mass grave.

The territory of Vrable consists of three settlements, where excavations and geophysical studies have been carried out over the past 7 years. The work was carried out by a German-Slovak archaeological team and over 300 longhouses have been discovered to date. Longhouses were built at different stages of the historic settlement, and archaeologists estimate that there were about 50-60 structures in use at any given time.

Communal grave of headless bodies from the Stone Age found in Slovakia (photo)< /p>

 Mass grave of decapitated bodies from the Stone Age found in Slovakia (photo)

One of the three areas of the settlement at the final stage of the occupation was fortified with at least one defensive moat and palisade. This particular settlement had six defensive perimeter entrances, and was a Stone Age mass grave site. The skeletons were found in a ditch near one of these six entrances.

According to the researchers, these people were most likely victims of religious sacrifices. The bodies were thrown into the grave in a chaotic manner. The skeletons were lying around with outstretched arms and legs, resembling frogs.

Men, women and children were buried in the grave, but many of them were teenagers and young adults. The skull of one child and the lower jaw were the only head bones found, indicating that the heads were separated from the bodies. The bones showed clear signs of near-death fractures (that is, at the time of death or shortly before it). There are no signs of healing in near-death injuries. The grave also contained part of the sleigh.

Communal grave of headless bodies from the Stone Age found in Slovakia (photo)

Communal grave of headless bodies from the Stone Age found in Slovakia (photo)

While human sacrifice is one possible explanation for the decapitated bodies in the mass grave, only further research can clearly establish the cause of death. Research will be aimed at finding out whether people died separately or at the same time and whether they were victims of an epidemic or religious rituals.