Archaeologists Make Grisly Find in China

Skulls of 80 sacrificed young women unearthed
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2013 9:57 AM CST
Updated Dec 7, 2013 9:20 AM CST
Stock photo of an archeologist digging.   (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic)

(Newser) – A mass grave holding the skulls of 80 young women has been found in China, state media today reported, and the details only get grislier from there. Archaeologists believe the women may have been sacrificed as many as 4,000 years ago, perhaps as part of "foundation ceremonies" that were held before the construction of the neolithic stone city commenced. The women's skulls were buried without their bodies, and many had indications that they were "hit and burned," per one archaeologist.

The South China Morning Post reports that it's not the first sign of human sacrifice in ancient China, where servants and concubines often joined kings and emperors in their graves—sometimes killed first, sometimes buried alive. The find occurred in Shaanxi province's Shimao Ruins, which were themselves discovered in 1976 and continue to turn up big finds: Archaeologists last week announced that they had uncovered the ruins of two beacon towers there, per the Xinhua news agency. (Read more China stories.)

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