The skeletal remains of a man and a woman buried in Germany surprised archaeologists when they discovered that the skull of one of the skeletons was completely hollow.
Archaeologists made this unusual discovery during ongoing excavations near a 1,000-year-old temple Former royal palace It was built by Roman Emperor Otto the Great (also known as Otto I) in Helveta, a village in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt.
The two skeletons were buried directly next to each other, indicating that they were “likely a married couple.” Oliver Dietrichan archaeologist at the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin who worked on the excavation, told Live Science in an email.
The woman was slightly shorter than the man, and was 5 feet 1 inch (1.55 meters) tall, according to the German outlet. Bild.
But what was most troubling to researchers was that her skeleton was missing facial bones. But further analysis revealed that her skull had not actually been removed. Rather, it was damaged later because the grave was shallow and located directly under the soil layer.
Related: A skeleton with four artificial metal toes has been discovered from a centuries-old grave in Germany
“The woman’s skull was damaged by subsequent disturbances in the grave, for example by [a] “The plow, or perhaps also by small animals that built burrows in the grave.” Felix Berman, a professor of archeology at the University of Szczecin in Poland who worked on the excavation, told Live Science in an email. “So, there’s nothing amazing about it.”
The man was buried with a variety of funerary objects, including iron objects such as a knife; Strap set (buckle and tongue strap); and the iron end of the staff, indicating that he may have been a noble figure at the time of his death.
Berman said: “We conclude that this man lived in the ninth century AD and was an official in the Frankish castle or hill fort that was located there at that time.” “Since he had no weapons, he was probably more of an official than a warrior.”
On the other hand, the woman’s grave lacked burial tools, which could mean that she was either robbed at some point or that she converted to Christianity.
“It’s not easy to say why women didn’t have funerary objects,” Berman said. “It is possible that her grave was later robbed.”
He added: “But I think it is more likely that she or the people who buried her were actually more Christian than the man. They both lived at a time when Christianity was slowly gaining acceptance, and in this case the decision was not to do so.” Providing burial tools can express a conversion towards Christianity, while providing burial tools can express a more traditional attitude.
Archaeologists are conducting further analysis to learn more about the couple’s identities and how they died.
“Amateur organizer. Wannabe beer evangelist. General web fan. Certified internet ninja. Avid reader.”