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1,500 years old crime scene in Sweden

Archaeologists unearth 1,500-year-old crime scene in Sweden


Swedish archaeologists have discovered the remains of a brutal massacre in which peaceful town’s people were mercilessly slaughtered approximately 1,500 years ago.  The violent attack took place on the island of Öland, just off the Swedish coast. The circumstances surrounding the massacre are currently unknown but researchers and scientists are trying to unravel the story.

The team of archaeologists found the remnants of a small town, which appeared to have been a prosperous place where people lived comfortably in small huts and reared livestock for meat.  However, it was not long before they realised they were walking upon a crime scene dating back to the 5 th century AD.

The bodies of five of the town’s residents have been unearthed among the ruins of one of the huts.  Two were found lying next to the door as if they had been slaughtered as they tried desperately to escape.  Human bones have been found in other parts of the fort, making it highly likely that many more bodies are yet to be dug out.

“I think they were ambushed in some way and people were running into the house trying to kill them and they didn't have a chance,” said Helene Wilhelmson, a researcher who specializes in the study of bones at Sweden's Lund University. “'It's more of a frozen moment than you normally see in archaeology… Something terrible happened, and everything just stopped.”

From the evidence, it appears that the site was abandoned and remained untouched for 1,500 years. Even treasures like gilded brooches and jewellery were left at the scene and later uncovered at an earlier excavation in 2010. Archaeologists suggest that the location may have been taboo after the massacre, with people simply too terrified to return to the town.

The team are now creating computerised 3-D models of the fort to reconstruct the crime scene — in the hope of solving the mystery.

By >April Holloway

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April Holloway is a Co-Owner, Editor and Writer of Ancient Origins. For privacy reasons, she has previously written on Ancient Origins under the pen name April Holloway, but is now choosing to use her real name, Joanna Gillan.

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