More than 2,000 years ago, thousands of soldiers were slaughtered as part of a bizarre sacrificial ritual, then chucked in the small basin of a lake. Today, that basin is a bog in northeastern Denmark called Alken Enge. In April, researchers from Skanderborg Museum and Aarhus University unearthed the skeletal remains of more than 200 warriors there.
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But after a recently completed summer dig, archaeologists believe the fragments of more than 1,000 individuals could be scattered across the 99-acre site, Irene Berg Sørensen of ScienceNordic reports.
“Finds of damaged human bones along with axes, spears, clubs and shields confirm that the bog at Alken Enge was the site of violent conflict,” according to a statement from Aarhus University.
Alken Enge first caught the attention of researchers when human remains were discovered there in the 1950s. The bog was regularly used as a place of sacrifice during the Iron Age, according to Skanderborg Museum.
A summer excavation found many more human bones than expected, excavation Field Director Ejvinf Hertz told ScienceNordic
Fragments of around 240 people were found in an area of about 1,000 square feet — a little bigger than a racquetball court — but archaeologists believe the entire site may hold the remains of more than 1,000 soldiers
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