Prehistoric war unearthed in Peak District
Evidence for a hitherto totally unknown prehistoric war has been discovered in northern England. Archaeologists excavating the remains of a large fortified Iron Age settlement at Fin Cop in the Peak District have so far found the skeletons of nine victims of what they believe was a massacre which took place around 2400 years ago.
However, they suspect that dozens of other victims may still lie buried there. Poignantly, the nine corpses – mainly of women and children – had been thrown into a two metre deep rock-cut ditch originally built to defend the settlement.
Only ten out of 400 metres of the ditch have so far been excavated. So it’s conceivable that the entire rock-cut dry moat could contain literally hundreds of victims. As well as killing the women and children of the ten acre settlement, the attackers also systematically destroyed it, tearing down the dry stone defences with extraordinary ferocity.
The archaeological investigation – led by Dr. Clive Waddington of Derbyshire-based Archaeological Research Services in collaboration with a local history group from the village of Longstone – has revealed that the victims’ skeletons and the masonry of the settlement’s defensive wall were all thrown into the rock-cut ditch at exactly the same time.
Most of the bodies were located between layers of stone which had been thrown into the ditch and which had made impact marks on their bones.
The victims were two women in their 20s, another adult of unknown gender, four babies, one toddler – and a teenager who had been cowering at the bottom of the ditch when he or she was buried under the cascading masonry.
Significantly, Fin Cop was probably not the only settlement to suffer from the attackers. For just a few miles way, at Bakewell, another fortified village appears to have been similarly destroyed.
The archaeologists are puzzled by the apparent absence of adult males at Fin Cop. It’s possible that the village’s warriors had left the settlement to attack the enemy but had been defeated, thus leaving the women and children relatively defenceless. But it’s also possible that the males weren’t killed because they were valuable as slaves required for heavy manual labour.
Nothing is known about the geo-politics of the period, so archaeologists have no real idea as to who the conflict was between. However, later on in the Iron Age, the territory was certainly a border or buffer zone between two major tribal groups, the Brigantes (literally the Pennine ‘Highlanders’) and the Corieltauvi.
The area around Fin Cop and Bakewell was of potentially considerable importance from a natural resource point of view – being rich in lead ore, a crucial mineral needed for the manufacture of various metal alloys.
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 2 JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
- 3 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 4 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 5 Jeremy Clarkson calls on trolls to leave producer Oisin Tymon alone: 'None of this is his fault'
Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
Andreas Lubitz: Who is Germanwings co-pilot who 'locked out captain and crashed flight 9525'?
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Russia unveils plans for high speed railway and superhighway to connect Europe and America
Cate Blanchett loses temper during interview: 'That's your f**king question?'
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest
£50000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to continued business growt...
£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Well established and expanding ...