Brits Uncover Mass Grave of Headless Vikings

Archaeologists thrilled by bones of 51 Scandinavians
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2010 2:14 AM CST
Updated Mar 12, 2010 5:50 AM CST
The "Jarl Squad," dressed in Viking costumes on a replica long ship, take part in the Up Helly Aa festival in the Shetland Isles.   (AP Photo/PA, Danny Lawson)
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(Newser) – Road builders in southern England uncovered the remains of what's proven to be 51 Vikings who came to a bad end sometime around 1000 AD. Archaeologists believe the men, mostly in their late teens and early 20s were beheaded in front of an audience. Analysis of their teeth found that they came from across Scandinavia, with one man traveling from north of the Arctic Circle, the BBC reports.

The men's skulls were found neatly stacked in one corner of the mass grave and their skeletons dumped in another. Archaeologists say this is one of the biggest mass graves of foreigners ever found in Britain. They believe the men were executed by local Anglo-Saxons, who were plagued by Viking raids at the time.

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