From ancient pet cemeteries to finding heads on stakes, here are 9 creepy archaeological sites out of a horror story.
Pit of amputated arms
9. A Pit Of Amputated Arms.
In 2012,, archaeologists working near the German border in France discovered a pit filled with amputated human arms, fingers and hands.
Was this a leftover atrocity from a world war?
It turns out that this pit was actually 6000 years old.
The team discovered the pit by accident while performing routine excavations in anticipation of a property development in the village of Bergheim.
Altogether, the five-acre (2 hectares) site contained 60 ancient pits called silos, 14 of which contained human bones, But one of the pits was different from the others, Labeled pit number 157,.
The six-and-a-half-foot-deep (2 meters) hole contained at least seven severed arms.
The bones all bore amputation marks from a knife or an axe, and one came from a teen between 12 and 16 years old.
After throwing the limbs into the pit, someone tossed in seven human bodies, including two adults and four children, including a baby less than a year old and a middle-aged man with his arm cut off and telltale evidence of repeated blows to the skull.
That proved fatal.
What the heck happened in this gruesome place?
The dismembered body parts did not help experts better understand the ancient people’s day-to-day lives, but instead reflect a singular event, according to archaeologist Fanny Chenal.
Chenal and her colleagues failed to determine what caused the scary event, but they believe it was the product of warfare, judicial sentencing or some other very deliberate violent encounter Based on the wide variety of ages.
Some other group most likely came in and killed them.
The unfortunate individuals found in the pit were likely farmers and animal herders who lived in villages, pointing toward a very dark side of the social hierarchies that existed among some Neolithic societies.
Ancient Pet Cemetery
Ancient PET CEMETERIES.
The modern-day Peruvian capital city of Lima sits upon layers of past settlements dating back thousands of years.
Here and elsewhere throughout the country, archaeologists have uncovered numerous graveyards containing the remains of both people and dogs, as well as sites dedicated exclusively to canines.
The cemeteries date back between 900 and 1350 AD, when the region was inhabited by a Pre-Columbian agricultural civilization called the Chiribaya.
Often buried with toys and blankets, the dogs were laid to rest in separate plots next to the burials of deceased humans, showing that the culture highly valued man’s best friend.
The ancient people of Peru used their canine companions for herding llamas, and it appears as though humans and dogs were occasionally sacrificed.
One particularly bizarre site discovered underneath the Lima Zoo by archaeologist Karina Venegas Gutiérrez is filled with human remains bearing signs of torture and violence, showing that they suffered gruesome deaths.
The dog skeletons lack these marks, suggesting that they were ritually strangled.
As of 2015,, scientists were working on trying to prove a genetic connection between the dogs of the past and the modern-day Chiribaya shepherd, But other types of dogs have been found at these cemeteries, including a small bulldog-like breed and dogs that still roam the country’s streets today.
While investigating northern Spain’s El Sidrón cave system in 1994,, a team of archaeologists discovered the bones of 13 Neanderthals, including seven adults, (4 women and 3 men), who were all relatively young when they died, as well as three adolescents between 12 and 15 years old, two younger children between five and nine years of age and an infant.
A mitochondrial DNA analysis revealed that they were related.
The family died suddenly and at the same time, around 49,000 years ago, and marking on their bones indicate that they were brutally massacred.
Although the skeletons lack tooth marks, it’s clear that their attackers used stone tools to butcher them strongly, indicating that the family was eaten.
Some bones were broken to obtain marrow, skulls were shattered to extract brains, and others contain cut marks, flaking, pitting and other telltale signs that the victims became someone’s meal.
Scientists believe that the Neanderthals who killed the family resorted to cannibalism to survive and not for the more sinister reasons we attach to the practice today.
The Slain family’s bones showed that they experienced nutritional stress resulting from a diet of mostly plants and little meat, so there’s a good chance that the killers ate similar foods and also struggled with malnutrition.
A new study in 2019 determined that the victims were not only related, but skeletal anomalies indicate that they were likely inbred.
These findings present the possibility that inbreeding may have factored into the Neanderthals’ extinction around 40,000 years ago in some way.
Human heads on stakes
Human Heads On Stakes.
Around 8,000 years ago, a society of Mesolithic hunter-gatherers lived along Sweden’s Motala River, where they left behind animal bones, tools made from antlers and human skulls mounted on stakes.
The site is now known as Kanaljorden.
Archaeologists first discovered the artifacts in 2009, ahead of the construction of a new railway bridge, and excavations were carried out two years later.
The mounted skulls, all missing.
Their jaw bones were found crammed onto a densely packed layer of large submerged stones, among the skulls of nine adults and one infant.
With animal bones surrounding the strange assemblage.
It appears as though the skulls were deliberately placed on stakes before being put in the water and the animal bones were sorted according to species.
In addition to having a stake driven through them, the skulls showed obvious signs of injuries.
Males bore evidence of blunt force trauma to the top of the head, while female skulls had trauma to the sides and back of the head.
Interestingly, at least some of the damage had healed, showing that the victims did not die immediately after sustaining these injuries.
Researchers do not know what kind of tool was used for harming the individuals or if the violence was directly related to their deaths, but they determined that the heads were likely separated from the bodies during decomposition rather than from decapitation.
The brutal nature of these discoveries contradicts other Mesolithic hunter-gatherer burials, which tend to reflect a deep respect for the dead, and the reason for the gruesome mutilation of the bodies is a mystery.
No other similar sites have ever been found, leaving experts with a perplexing prehistoric puzzle that they are still working on putting together.
Denmark’s Bjaeldskovdal bog is creepy in its own right.
Situated on the country’s Jutland Peninsula, the sparse, flat mossy bog is eerily still containing just a tree here and there.
The discovery of over 500 remarkably preserved Iron age bodies and skeletons within this region makes it even spookier.
Known as bog bodies, these human remains date back between 800 BC and 200 AD, and they are discovered fairly regularly.
Many of them are found with their hair, skin, clothes and even the food in their stomach intact, owing to the oxygen-poor and highly acidic conditions of the layers of dead moss in their watery graves.
One of the most famous bog bodies is the Tollund Man, who had visible stubble on his face when he was discovered in 1950.
Researchers have spent decades trying to learn about who the bog people were and why they died.
Some bodies bear signs of extreme violence, including cuts to the throat.
It was also unusual for the people of the time to bury their dead instead of cremate them, suggesting that the individuals were sacrificed as criminals, slaves or even just for being commoners.
According to National Geographic, A 2014 study challenged this notion after determining that some of the bog people showed signs of having traveled great distances and wore elaborate clothing from foreign lands, indicating that perhaps the opposite was true, that maybe they were sacrificed because they were highly regarded in their villages.
There are no written records of Danish Iron Age people’s religious beliefs, so it’s possible that scientists will never know who the bog people were or why they were killed.
Many experts do agree, however, that the victims were likely selected because they were seen as unique among the population.
Bog bodies have been found elsewhere in northern Europe, including in Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
4. Man Bac.
Around 4,000 years ago in what is now northern Vietnam, a very sick young man was buried at Man Bac, a Neolithic site south of Hanoi belonging to the prehistoric Phùng Nguyên culture.
When archaeologists excavated his grave, known simply as Burial 9,, they found that, unlike most of the other people buried at the cemetery who were laid straight, he was curled into a fetal position.
In 2007,, Dr Marc Oxenham and Lorna Tilley, a graduate student at the time, discovered that the man’s Vertebrae were fused and that he spent most of his life crippled, after becoming paralyzed from the waist down around the age of 12..
His bones tell a story of suffering and compassion.
His condition resulted from a congenital disease called Klipper-Feil syndrome, which robbed him almost entirely of the use of his arms, and he needed a caretaker to help him with basic tasks, including hygiene and eating-
Remember, this was 4000 years ago-
Despite his overwhelming needs, at a time when survival was difficult for absolutely everyone.
He lived for another decade after becoming unable to care for himself, thanks to the compassion of his community, who tended to him around the clock.
For the researchers, the dedication shown to caring for the disabled young man reflects uncharacteristic cultural traits at the time, including tolerance, cooperation and the high value that the Phùng Nguyên people placed on health and taking care of loved ones.
3. 15TH-CENTURY Witch PRISON.
Twenty-three women and one man were tried and executed for witchcraft in Aberdeen Scotland, during the “Great Witch Hunt” of 1597..
Two places during this time were made into makeshift prisons for witches during the witch hunt.
One of them was the Chapel of St Mary, which was the tallest structure in the city during that time.
All that remains of the makeshift holding center is a two-inch-wide (5.1 cm) iron ring embedded on a stone pillar of the St Mary’s Chapel of St Nicholas, which doesn’t seem like much In 2016,.
Historians were restoring the chapel and found the ring, but it seemed so insignificant they were skeptical that it was “anything more than a piece of metal in the wall”.
But the history that goes along with the ring and the building itself is more than slightly disturbing.
Arthur Winfield, who led the project to restore the chapel says that this dark chapter of the city’s past happened roughly 30 years after the country’s transition from Catholicism to Protestantism, And it was a very scary time.
Neighbors turned against neighbors and at any moment when there was a disease outbreak you could be accused of witchcraft for looking at someone sideways.
Aberdeen’s archives reveal that the ring was installed specifically for chaining up the accused while they awaited their unfortunate fates.
The frigid chapel was the suspects’ last stop before they were executed and burned.
The temperature was probably below 0 at the time.
The witches were arrested and kept in the chapel.
Detailed records list the supplies that were needed for the gruesome campaign, along with the price, including tar barrels, rope, stakes, shackles and peat for burning.
The city meticulously recorded the details of each suspect who likely died as a result of baseless superstition rather than valid allegations.
A mother and son were strangled and burned, and the city records note that it cost “3 pounds 13 shillings and 4 pence” to provide enough peat, tar and wood for the pyre.
St Mary’s Chapel originally served as a refuge for Catholic women to pray, but following the Reformation in 1560, it was converted into two sanctuaries.
The church’s use changed yet again when King James Vi of Scotland ruthlessly embarked on the Great Witch Hunt.
It wasn’t mobs with pitchforks but the king himself searching for witches.
Excavations over the years at St Mary’s have revealed the remains of over 2,000 people at the site, but none of the accused witches, who were likely buried elsewhere on “unhallowed” ground.
China Hanging Coffins
There were 1000 complete skeletons and the plan is to hold a ceremony to rebury the bodies in a vault underneath 2.
China’s Hanging Coffins.
In southern China there’s a man-made cave containing dozens of hanging coffins suspended as high as 165 feet- (50 meters)- in the air, Weighing over 220 pounds- (100 kg) each.
The oversized caskets are all either wedged between rock openings and hanging from wooden stakes.
They were put in their places as far back as 1,200 years ago by the ancient Bo people as part of a religious ritual of some type.
A handful of the coffins are torn up, which experts believe happened during the 1960s, when someone discovered the site, failed to report it to the authorities and used the wood as firewood.
This is just one of several such cemeteries throughout the region, some of which date as far back as 3,000 years and house coffins up to 300 feet (91 feet), in the air.
One site in Guizhou Province is littered with an array of ancient artifacts, including clothes, bones and ceramics.
Some researchers speculate that laying the dead to rest in a hard-to-reach place blessed them and prevented animals from feeding on their remains.
Others theorize that the elevated sites were seen as a way to get the deceased closer to Heaven.
How the ancient people transported the caskets to their final resting place is also unknown, considering how difficult they are to get to even now with modern equipment and technology.
They are very heavy, sometimes weighing hundreds of pounds.
The Bo civilization itself is shrouded in mystery as well.
Experts believe that they were persecuted and mostly disappeared amid the onset of the Ming Dynasty in the late 14th century, save for a few who likely assimilated into other local minority groups.
Dead Mans Island
Hundreds of years ago, a small, little-known island in the United Kingdom nicknamed Deadman’s Island was a chosen burial site for the remains of convicts who died aboard prison ships.
Situated in the River Kent, the burial site kept the bodies of men and boys who perished in crammed floating prisons, away from the general public, in death just as they were in life, preventing infectious diseases from spreading and possibly triggering an epidemic At some point.
Coastal erosion and tidal shift caused the remains to emerge from the ground, leaving Deadman’s Island littered with human body parts and wooden coffins.
At first, efforts were made to rebury the bodies, but as the tides continue to change, the remains continue to surface and are gradually being washed out to sea.
The island remains uninhabited today.
It’s owned by Natural England, which currently leases it to two people, and is a protected site and a Site of Special Scientific Interest, as well as an important nesting and breeding site for birds.
It is not open to visitors, but who would want to go there anyway?
Thanks for watching.
Hope this wasn’t too scary.
Which site gave you the heebie-jeebies?
Let me know in the comments below.
I think the pit with the severed arms got to me.
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