Marks on the bones indicate that the individuals buried in the cave were decapitated and dismembered around 1,400 years ago. The scientists assume that the victims were either prisoners of war or nobles from Uxul itself.
The project headed by Prof. Dr. Nikolai Grube and Dr. Kai Delvendahl from the University of Bonn, made a sensational find: they have uncovered the skeletons of 24 people in an approximately 32 square meter artificial cave that had formerly been used as a water reservoir.
Archaeologist Nicolaus Seefeld, who studied the sophisticated water supply system of Uxul for his doctoral thesis and discovered the mass grave, said that aside from the large number of interred individuals, it already became apparent during the excavation that the skeletons were no longer in their original anatomical articulation.
All of the skulls were lying scattered around the interior of the cave, in no relation to the rest of the bodies. Even the majority of the lower jaws were separated from the heads. In contrast, detailed examination determined that the limbs of the legs and hands were in some cases completely preserved.
According to the conclusions reached by the scientists, the spatial pattern of the bones indicates that the corpses of the 24 people had been decapitated and dismembered.
Signs of violent death could be proven for the majority.
Seefeld said that the observed hatchet marks on the cervical vertebra are a clear indication of decapitation.
The forehead of another skull shows an unhealed skull fracture, probably caused by a blow from a cudgel. In addition, numerous skulls show signs of cutting with sharp objects, which might originate from stone hatchets.
--ANI (Posted on 12-09-2013)