Grisly discovery of headless bodies gives insight into justice Saxon style

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ONCE they were spectacular resting places to honour the dead.
But with pagan Britain's conversion to Christianity, the Bronze Age burial mounds came to be regarded with suspicion as places where devils and dragons lurked.

It was at one such site in East Yorkshire that the Anglo-Saxons chose to bury the worst kind of criminals, away from hallowed ground, leaving their heads to rot on stakes.

The latest archaeological techniques have now thrown a new light on an eerie cemetery – the only one so far discovered north of the Humber – where the decapitated bodies of executed criminals were laid to rest.

The dozen skeletons – 10 without their heads – were discovered by archaeologists in the late 1960s in a Bronze Age barrow at Walkington Wold, sparking
theories that it has been the site of a massacre, a series of
executions or even a Celtic head cult.

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Lorraine Paul - 1/9/2008

If my memory serves me correctly, then they are more accurately known as'barrows'.

Strangely, they are found throughout Europe as well as in the British Isles.