Photo: Journal of Archaeological Science (2018)
Scientists found evidence that the Celts living in the iron age (from 1200 BC to 340 ad) in the South of France, perhaps the embalmed severed heads of enemies to their better preservation. About it reported in a press release on Phys.org.
The researchers studied more than one hundred fragments of skulls found in the commune of Le Cailar. The bones were dated to the third century BC. It is believed that the human remains belonged to enemy soldiers that the Celts decapitated after death. Many skulls have traces of decapitation and brain extraction.
Experts have shredded a few samples, and then conducted a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to determine the composition and content of organic substances. It was revealed a small amount diterpenoid compounds that are formed during the destruction of pine resin during heating.
In addition, there were traces of cholesterol and fatty acids. From animal skulls excavated in the same place, these compounds were not detected.
Researchers believe that the presence of diterpenes is due to the immersion of skulls in a liquid containing coniferous resin. This allows you to slow decomposition, that is, a part of the embalming process. According to scientists, so the Celts expressed respect for the defeated enemy, keeping the head inside the houses.
Video, photo All from Russia.