Archaeologists digging near a castle in the Middle Ages have unearthed two mass graves, including the horrifying remains of Christian soldiers defeated during the Medieval Crusaders. Some of them may have been personally buried by the king.
In the dry moat of the ruins of St. Louis Castle in Sidon, Lebanon, at least 25 young men and teenage boys were found missing and charred bones. Radiocarbon dating by priests and rulers between the 11th and 13th centuries Sanctuary..
Like many who fought and plundered in front of them, the long and difficult journey of the soldiers ended with their death — all the result of the wounds they suffered in the battle. However, despite widespread casualties, it is incredibly difficult to find a mass grave from this bloody historical era.
Richard Mikulsky, an archaeologist at Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom who excavated and analyzed the ashes, said, “When we excavated the bones, we made a special discovery when we found so many weapon injuries in the bones. I knew that. ” Said in a statement..
Analyzed archaeologist DNA Analysis of various versions or isotopes of carbon in bone confirmed that some were born in Europe, alongside naturally occurring radioisotopes in male teeth, that died at some point in the 13th century. Suggests. The Crusade first occupied St. Louis Castle shortly after the First Crusade in 1110. The invaders held Sidon, an important strategic port for over a century, but historical records indicate that the castle was attacked twice, destroyed and then initially collapsed. Partly by Mamluk in 1253 and then by Mongolia in 1260.
Researchers said soldiers were “very likely” to have died in one of these battles by brutal means. All bones bear evidence of blunt trauma, as well as stab wounds from swords and axes. The soldiers suffered more wounds on their backs than on the front. This suggests that many soldiers were attacked from behind, probably because they fled during the rout. The distribution of these blows means that the attackers have accused them on horseback. Many of the male bodies have blade wounds on the back of the neck. This indicates that he may have been caught alive before he was struck.
“One individual suffered so many injuries (at least 12 injuries, including at least 16 skeletal elements) that it hits considerably more than actually needed to overcome or kill them. May represent the case of overkill added, “the researchers wrote in their study.
Some charring of bones suggested that someone tried to burn the male body in the aftermath of their brutal death, after which their corpses remained rotten on the battlefield.
However, perhaps after royal intervention, the body was later swept into a mass grave. The belt buckle found between the bones indicates that the soldier was Frankish and welcomed from regions including modern Belgium and France. Their origin and the date they were killed suggest that the soldiers may have been buried by Louis IX of France.
“According to Crusaders’ records, Louis IX of France participated in the Crusaders in the Sanctuary during the attack on Sidon in 1253,” said Pears, an anthropologist at the University of Cambridge, a Crusaders expert on the project. Mitchell said. statement. “He went to the city after the battle and personally helped bury the rotten corpses in such a mass grave. It would be surprising if King Louis himself helped bury these bodies. Isn’t it? “
One of the most famous rulers of the time, who was later canonized as a saint, the King of France led two invasions to the sanctuary, sworn to God and then reclaimed the territory with God’s help. .. In recovery from malaria. Legend has it that the devout king later died of plague in 1270 when he was leading the Eighth Crusade, but recent analysis shows that he died of scurvy because he refused to eat foreign food. It is shown that Live science previously reported..
Archaeologists may never know who killed a soldier and later buried him in Sidon. However, their tombs usually provide rare insights into the brutal era described only in written records.
“Thousands of people died in all directions during the Crusades, but archaeologists rarely find soldiers killed in these famous battles,” Mitchell said. “The wounds that cover their bodies allow us to begin to understand the horrifying reality of medieval warfare.”
The findings were published in the journal on August 6th. PLOS ONE..
Originally published in Live Science.
Mass grave of the slaughtered Crusaders found in Lebanon
Source link Mass grave of the slaughtered Crusaders found in Lebanon