archaeology
subscribe
Special Introductory Offer!

Scientists Examine Stab Wounds in Medieval Skeleton from Sicily

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

PALERMO, SICILY—A team of researchers has attempted to determine the cause of death for a man who was buried facedown in a shallow grave in central Sicily in the eleventh century, according to a Live Science report. Roberto Miccichè of the University of Palermo and his colleagues examined the bones with CT scans and created 3-D reconstructions of the skeleton. They found six cuts on the man’s sternum that were probably inflicted with a knife or dagger through his back. A twisting motion with the weapon is thought to be responsible for a piece of bone missing from the right side of the sternum. When inflicted, the cuts probably pierced the man’s lungs and heart, killing him quickly, Miccichè explained. He added that the angles of the cuts in the bone suggest the man was in a kneeling position when he was killed, and may have been bound, since the cuts were smooth and precise, suggesting he was not able to fight back. In fact, the man’s feet were so close together in the grave they may have still been bound when he was buried. To read about a warrior buried in northern Italy who appears to have work a prosthetic weapon, go to “Late Antique TLC.”

Advertisement

Advertisement


Advertisement