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Dark Side of Etruscan Life Revealed in Discovery of Shackled Skeleton

Thursday, November 10, 2016 15:01
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The ancient Etruscans are often remembered as a highly-cultured civilization which was peaceful and spiritual. However, the shocking discovery of a burial unearthed recently in Populonia, central Tuscany, Italy reminds researchers that, like most others, the civilization also had a dark side.

The ancient Etruscans are often remembered as a highly-cultured civilization which was peaceful and spiritual. However, the shocking discovery of a burial unearthed recently in Populonia, central Tuscany, Italy reminds researchers that, like most others, the civilization also had a dark side.

Seeker.com reports that archaeologists discovered a 2,500-year-old skeleton which is still bound by shackles on its neck and ankles. This is the first time researchers have discovered this type of burial at an Etruscan site. It was found at an ancient settlement built near the sea. The body was placed in a simple pit dug into the sandy soil near the beach of Baratti.

The skeleton has been identified as a male who died when he was 20 -30 years old. The surprising element of his burial is the heavy iron collar wrapped around his neck and the almost five pounds (2.27 kg) of iron which bound his legs. Giorgio Baratti, professor of archaeology at the University of Milan told Seeker, “He died in shackles and was buried with a shroud tied to the body. We found a black spot under the nape, most likely what remained of a wood object which was likely connected to the iron collar.'”

The shackles around the skeleton’s ankles.

The shackles around the skeleton’s ankles. (Giorgio Baratti)

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