Photo: UK Ministry of Defence
Injured British soldiers working as volunteer archaeologists discovered the remains of warriors who died more than 1,400 years ago, Maev Kennedy of the Guardian reports. The discovery astonished archaeologists leading the excavation as earlier digs had turned up empty ration packs and spent ammunition.
The soldiers – who are recovering from injuries suffered in the Afghan War – found shields, spear heads, hundreds of amber and glass beads, a Roman brooch and a silver ring among the remains of 27 individuals.
From the Guardian:
Mike Kelly, from 1 Rifles, found a skeleton with its head covered by a shield. He believes the position was a sign of respect to a fallen warrior. “I have been to war myself and I can imagine what the soldier would have felt as he went into battle. Knowing that as a modern-day warrior I have unearthed the remains of another fills me with an overwhelming sense of respect.”
The excavation was part of Operation Nightingale, which Kennedy describes as “an award-winning project to give soldiers new skills and interests as part of their rehabilitation.”
Eight of the soldiers are now going on to study archeology at Leicester University.
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