15th-Century Scottish Warrior Was Buried with 5 Extra Heads

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15th-Century Scottish Warrior Was Buried with 5 Extra Heads


Between 1994 and 2007, archeologists excavated 88 skeletons at St. Colman’s Church in the fishing village of Portmahomack. The grave was located inside the ruins of the church. It was believed that St. Colman's Church was burned down in the late 1400s. It was also the same time as the battle between the Ross and MacKay clans. A 2016 report published by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland showed that one group of bodies was dated between the 13th and 14th centuries while another group was laid to rest during the 15th and 16th centuries. 


Photo Credit: Daily Mail


In 1997, archeologists unearthed six skulls in one grave. They found two complete male skeletons and four additional skulls in the site. According to Live Science, a science news website that features groundbreaking developments in science, space, technology, health, the environment, our culture and history, the grave initially contained one complete skeleton. It was reported that the man suffered terrible sword wounds to his face that nearly separated his jaw from his head. The skeletons found in the grave likely belonged to successive clan chiefs. They were possibly killed during clashes with a neighboring clan.


Photo Credit: Live Science


Aside from the skeleton, archeologists also discovered that the four skulls in the grave had no lower jaws and were arranged around the man’s head. A generation later, the coffin was opened again and another head was added. "The skull of the first man was moved to the foot of the coffin to make way for the second man's head, which was then also surrounded by the extra skulls," archaeologist Cecily Spall said. Experts stated that the “six-headed” burial was highly unusual. 


Photo Credit: Live Science


Recently, forensic experts offered a glimpse at what one of those men may have looked like in life. They reconstructed the craggy, freckled face of an occupant of that crowded grave. They released a highly detailed image that included a generous, ginger neckbeard.




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