Viking mass grave findings generate book and museum exhibition

In 2009, a Dorset County, England road project uncovered the remains of 50 decapitated skeletons, later identified as Viking. Now the mass grave is the subject of a book, Given to the Ground: A Viking Age Mass Grave on Ridgeway Hill by members of the team that subsequently studied the remains. (photos)

The study of the skeletons revealed some surprising facts: The skeletons showed little evidence of previous battle injuries and some suffered from brucellocis,osteomyelitis  and kidney stones. Some also sported teeth filings believed to have been decoration.

The grave is considered an exytremely important discovery. “Not only is it one of the most dramatic Viking finds of recent years, it is particularly important in providing a very different perspective to the usual view of Viking military success in England in that period,” Gareth Williams, the curator of a new Viking exhibition at the British Museum.