Mystery of 8,000-Year-Old Impaled Human Heads Has Researchers Stumped
Archaeologists have never before encountered this grisly phenomenon in Mesolithic Scandinavia, and they're hard-pressed to explain it.
In 2009, a new railway bridging southern Sweden's Motala Ström River was slated for construction. But then, archaeologists began turning up artifacts there that were thousands of years old. Over the next few years, animal bones, tools made from antlers, wooden stakes, and bits of human skull were found in the bog's lime sediment.
The remains belonged to Mesolithic hunter-gatherers, a group that existed around 8,000 years ago between the Old and New Stone Ages. These societies have been known to show respect for the bodily integrity of their dead—that is, until now. (Related: "Mysterious Graves Discovered at Ancient European Cemetery")
In 2011, Fredrik Hallgren of the Cultural Heritage Foundation led an archaeological project on the