A strange tomb found in Scotland, which holds a medieval ruin that was thought to be a man surrounded by five skulls called the “Six Heads,” is beginning to reveal its secrets.new DNA Analysis now suggests that bones and skulls belong to members of the same large family.
Archaeologists soon found two burials in the same tomb, with four bodyless skulls, after a burial was found near the altar of the former parish church in Port Mahomak, a fishing village in the Easter Ross region in 1997. I noticed that I was surrounded.
According to the latest research, the two men were buried in the late 13th and early 15th centuries and were cousins or uncles and nephews. And three of the four skulls came from the same family — the second man’s grandfather, father and mother. Another relative, perhaps his second son, was buried nearby.
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The fourth skull dates from the 8th to 10th centuries and was originally buried in the cemetery of a nearby monastery. Archaeologists now believe that the skull belongs to a Pictish monk. The monk was removed from the monastery’s graveyard and kept as a valuable family relic.
In Scotland at the time, placing a bodyless skull next to the body of a tomb was “almost unprecedented,” archaeologist Cecily Spaul, who leads fieldwork in the field, told Live Science.
“You can find examples of parts of the body being used for worship during the Neolithic and Bronze Ages, but this is quite different,” Spaul said. “In the Middle Ages, harvesting the tombs of parents and grandparents as part of their bodies and putting them in modern burials is as rare as it gets.”
According to Shirley Curtis Summers, a bone scholar at the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom, the man who was first buried in the tomb probably died in extreme violence. He was almost certainly killed by a blow that cut off a part of his face.
“The attacker would have faced the victim and would have hit the right side of his face with a sword large and sharp enough to cut through his facial bones (such as Broadsword),” Curtis Summers said in live science. Told to. Email.
The man would have stood 5 feet 9 inches (175 centimeters), the tallest of all ancient skeletons excavated in Portmahomack, and his burial in the center of the parish church made him very She suggested that she was an important person.
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Archaeologists initially considered archaeological sites dating back to the 1480s, when the church fought between two Highland clans, Rosse and McKay, Spaul said.
Several assailants from Clan McKay were killed by warriors from Clan Ross, and the rest evacuated to church. But Rosse ignited it and killed everyone inside, she said — a conflict known as the Battle of Tarbat, by the name of the local parish.
However, radiocarbon dating shows that the people in the tomb were buried several generations before the Battle of Tarbat, Spaul said, saying that they had a family connection with the people involved in the later battle. I may have had it.
The church was rebuilt after the fire in the 1480s. It now exhibits archaeological relics from archaeological sites and houses the Tarbat Discovery Center, which is associated with local history.
The “six chiefs” may have been local leaders who died suddenly and violently. In this case, she said, perhaps until a generation later, the burial of the second man in the same place was probably an attempt to strengthen the connection between his family and the first man. It may also explain why the skull of the second man’s ancestors was also put into the grave-perhaps a decision made by the second man before his death.
“It suggests to us that he goes out this way to justify his particular inheritance in taking over the leadership of the community,” she said. “For some reason, they were in a very stressful situation — potentially during a war or local conflict,” she said. “Their leaders were murdered, and they needed to justify those who followed him.”
Curtis-Summers said the strange burial style showed that the family was important locally.
“The fact that they opposed the usual burial type of the time by adopting this impressive morgue ritual separates them as a special group within their community in Portmahomack.” She said.
Originally published Live science..