Photos: Archaeologists uncover 40 headless Roman skeletons with their skulls between their legs in England

Around 10% of the skeletons were decapitated.

Photo: Engin Akyurt/Pexels

Around 40 headless skeletons are among the 425 bodies exhumed in the great late Roman cemetery at Fleet Marstonnear Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire in southern England, discovered by archaeologists on the multimillion-dollar HS2 high-speed railway.

About 10% of the skeletons were decapitated, several of which were found with their skulls between their legs or next to the feet, according to a press release from HS2.

Archaeologists believe that some of the people buried may have been “criminals or an outcast of sorts,” although beheading was a “normal, if marginal” part of burials during the late Roman period, which is around the end of 410 AD.

The skull appears between the legs of several buried. (Photo: HS2)

Learn more about the lifestyles of the Roman civilization

In the coming years, researchers will study the exhumed skeletons, offering the opportunity to learn more about the lifestyles, diet and historical beliefs of the Roman civilization.

HS2 is not required to rebury them, unlike those exhumed on Christian land.

“All human remains discovered will be treated with dignity, care and respect, and our discoveries will be shared with the community,” said Helen Wass, Head of Heritage at HS2 Ltd.

The excavation was carried out by Cotswold Archaeology. (Photo: HS2)

Archaeologists also discovered more than 1,200 coins at Fleet Marston, indicating that it was also a trading and trading area. Household objects such as spoons, pins and brooches were found, while gaming dice and bells suggest that gambling and religious activity also occupied people’s time at the site.

“Excavation is significant”

The excavation was carried out by Cotswold Archaeology, Oxford Archeology and Pre-Construct Archeology (Copa), working on behalf of an HS2 contractor, according to reports. Guardian.

“The excavation is significant because allows both a clear characterization of this Roman city and the study of many of its inhabitants. Along with several new Roman settlements discovered during the HS2 build, it enhances and populates the map of Roman Buckinghamshire,” said Richard Brown, Copa project manager.

Discovery of human remains. (Photo: HS2)

Fleet Marston is one of more than 100 archaeological sites surveyed by HS2 since 2018 on the route of the first phase of the London to Birmingham railway.

With information from DW.

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