Bones Of Young Icelander Found In Dark Ages Mass Grave - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Bones Of Young Icelander Found In Dark Ages Mass Grave

Published March 6, 2014

The bones of a young Icelander were amongst those found in a mass grave dating from between 970 and 1025 near Weymouth, England.

RÚV reports that the Icelandic remains were a part of the Ridgeway Hill Viking Burial Pit, a grisly display that tells an even grislier story.

The burial pit was discovered in 2009 during road construction near Weymouth, in Dorset County, England. The pit includes the bodies of over 50 young men, all of Scandinavian origin. The bodies were in one pile, while their heads were in another, and their wounds – along with the lack of any clothing found – suggests that the young men in question had been executed by local Anglo-Saxons.

Whilst who actually ordered the killings, or why, is uncertain, RÚV speculates that this may have been the work of King Æthelred the Unready. In the year 1002, the king – tired of paying tribute to Vikings in exchange for the safety of himself and the locals – ordered the execution of all Danish settlers.

More photos from the excavation of the mass grave can be found at the Dorset County Council Flickr page.

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