Radiocarbon dating is the process by which archaeologists try to ascertain the age or period of an object that contains organic material. The archaeologists from the University of Bristol’s Department of Anthropology and Archaeology have revealed that the mass grave that had been discovered back in 1980, might been a burial site of the Viking Great Army dead.
The mass grave consisted of bones that have been collected over centuries. The new study also suggests that the bones that have been found in those graves are not consistent with the 9th century period. The Mercian king was driven into exile by the Viking Great’s Army in 873 A.D., as per the historical records. During the excavations by archaeologists, several Viking graves and charnel deposits were found during 1970 and 1980. There were charnel deposits of almost 300 people beneath the graves. It was very unusual to find a room totally packed with the mixed remains of several people. Most of them were women. Viking’s weapons, art effects including knives, axes and silver pennies were also found inside the graves. These were dated back to 872-875 A.D. It was also revealed that almost 80% of the remains were of young men in the age group of 18-45 years of age. Archaeologists also found marks of violent injury on the body of those remains, after examining their bones. In contravention to the initial radiocarbon dates, the new research reflects that all of the remains are of the same period i.e., 9th century and all relate to Viking Army.