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Saturday, June 13, 2009

TweetThis! Ancient mass grave found on Olympics site in England

So, these things happened almost everywhere in the world. Hmm, I have a lot of history to read. It looks to me like every society has it's little piece of nasty records, this leaves me with hope that Africa, too, will emerge, we will get there, we only have to stop the ongoing non sense.


News report from Reuters written by Stefano Ambrogi reads:

An ancient burial pit containing 45 severed skulls, that could be a mass war grave dating back to Roman times, has been found under a road being built for the 2012 British Olympics.
Archaeologists, who have only just begun excavating the site, say they do not yet know who the bones might belong to.
"We think that these dismembered bodies are likely to be native Iron Age Britons. The question is -- how did they die and who killed them," said dig head, David Score, of Oxford Archaeology.
"Were they fighting amongst themselves? Were they executed by the Romans? Did they die in a battle with the Romans?
"The exciting scenario for us possibly is that there were skirmishes with the invading Romans and that's how they ended up chopped up in a pit," he told Reuters. When the main Roman invasion force landed in Britain in AD 43, Claudius' legions moved swiftly through western England to subdue fierce Celtic tribes. The skulls and other bones were unearthed at a place called Ridgeway Hill, on the construction site of a new major relief road to Weymouth, on the Dorset coast in southwest England. The seaside town -- in the heart of Thomas Hardy country -- is to host sailing events for the London Olympics.
The grave site is close to Maiden Castle -- Europe's largest Iron Age hill fort where local tribes are said to have staged a last stand against the Roman legions after the invasion.

Some historians believe the Romans sacked the site, butchering its population including women and children, before burning it to the ground.

Score said they had counted 45 skulls so far in the 6-meter wide pit, together with a tangle of torsos, arms and legs, More could be found in the coming weeks. Most of the skulls were those of young men, supporting the theory they could have been killed in battle or executed en masse.
"One of the things that we will be looking for is do they have sword cut marks on the bones, and how were the heads dismembered: prior to or after death in an act of victory," Score said.
Archaeologists say they could also be Roman citizens or indigenous people who had died through disease or disaster. Few artifacts have so far been found with the bones, though pottery shards dating to the late Iron Age and early Roman period have been found scattered around the pit.

"It is rare to find a burial site like this one," Score said. "There are lots of different types of burial where skeletons may be aligned along a compass axis or in a crouched position, but to find something like this is just incredible."

2 feedback :

Chambi said... Sat Jun 13, 10:52:00 AM MST  

Dada Subi indeed there is a lot of history to read, both ancient and contemporary. As a start lets (re)read 'Discourse on Colonialism' by Aime Cesaire which show that Europe is not that different as some would want us to think - it was written in the 1950s in the aftermath of the-called War to end all Wars. The book also talks about how Genocide was carried out in such places as Namibia more or less during the same time the Holocaust occured yet it is the latter that caught the attention of the 'civilized' world!Why?

I know we are always tempted to compare Africa with Europe/America and end up thinking that we will "get there" i.e. 'where Euro-America is' now but what do we really mean when we say that? Why should Euro-America be our moral model if its ancient and contempory history is that stained by blood? River Rhine and Thames among others are filled with blood of Reformers. America the Beutiful's soil is covered with the Blood of Native Americans and African slaves. The hi-story goes on and on. Maybe its about time Africa look inward and develop outward. After all, as Nyerere always seemed to insist, it is Africa that has the moral authority to show the world the way since it has been much more on the receiving end of the 'immorality of Western Civilization'!

Subi said... Sat Jun 13, 09:09:00 PM MST  

Chambi,
You really challenged me. I had to think twice about 'getting there' and I think we have to reach our different 'there' (if that's possible though). Much of what we have today is a copy of Europe and America, the way we dress, talk, put value on things, plan, education, almost everything is a mimic of the West. We are loosing our history, our culture our way of doing things. The television, internet and modern ways of communication has changed not only our society but that of other developing countries in Asia, S.America and some parts of Europe.
I hope our 'getting there' will be more beneficial to mankind what the 'got there' I see in America.
Thanks for making me think again. I am watching some pieces of history from Nubia...

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