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Three skeletons believed to be victims of medieval ritual killing unearthed in South Moravian castle


Archaeologists have announced the discovery of three skeletons believed to be victims of ritual killing in the 1,000 years old foundations of Breclav Castle in South Moravia. 

Three skeletons believed to be victims of medieval ritual killing unearthed in South Moravian castle
Credit: Archaia Brno

"The individuals had been buried in the foundations of the older phase of the rampart right at the time of its construction", says archaeologist Miroslav Dejmal. "The three skeletons were found in close proximity to each other in pretty extreme positions, and had possibly been tied together."


"These unfortunates seem to have fallen victim to some drastic pagan practice, or murder", explains Dejmal. "It is hard to imagine that all three died at the same time by accident. And most importantly, placing them on the first layer of stones of the newly rampart and the position of the bodies, suggests they were infact sacrificed." 

Three skeletons believed to be victims of medieval ritual killing unearthed in South Moravian castle
Credit: Archaia Brno



"This would be supported by a long iron object about 80 cm in length, which was intentionally placed over the bodies. Unfortunately, the object is very corroded, but we know it tapers to a point. We will probably never know if they are definitely so-called 'construction victims', but it seems likely", adds Dejmal.

"Next week, together with anthropologists, we will try to learn more about the dead. We'll see if we can find out if they were related or whether they were 'locals'. It has been suggested that they might be slaves, possibly prisoners of war, who were used to build the walls and then perhaps sacrificed or executed. Even though the rampart builders had been converted to Christianity by around 1050, many, often harsh, pagan practices still survived." 


TANN

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