How do we live forever? The bone-hard truth is, we can't. However, some manage to live on, frozen in a moment. That's what happened at Sandbyborg, on the island of Öland, off the coast of Sweden. THREAD /1
Sandbyborg was an Iron Age hillfort, that would later become a settlement for the ancestors of the Norse. It comprised fifty odd houses, surrounded by a wall, the sea on one side, boulders on the other - easily defended. /2
The twenty six-odd dead found so far comprise men, women & children. Many of the human remains showed evidence of being attacked from behind, or executed. An old man and a child were found lying across the fireplace. /4
There must have been some warning, because the inhabitants of Sandbyborg were able to hide coins and jewelry - including some with Roman links - suggesting an affluent, well-off settlement. They seem to have done well from farming. /5
While it might seem horrific to us, such a raid isn't unknown. It seems to have taken place during the Western Migration Period, when tribes on the move clashed over land & resources after Rome fell. Raiding, whether for profit or to settle scores, was a threat. /6
We’ve been able to learn much from the site, that was first excavated to protect it from treasure-hunters around 2010. Crowdfunding, business and state contributions have meant that around 9% of the site has been uncovered thus far. /8
Over time, the victims of Sandbyborg will reveal more of their secrets - their lifestyle explored, their faces reconstructed. Digs occur most summers it seems, and you can follow progress at @Sandbyborg. /9
If you’d like to learn more about the Sandbyborg site, here’s a good news story outlining the massacre and the dig. /10 https://www.archaeology.org/issues/207-1603/features/4158-sweden-sandbyborg-massacre …
For much more on the site, including video, you can visit the dig’s website here. /11 http://www.sandbyborg.se/en/home/
We might not be able to live forever, but in some ways, we can live on through what we leave in the soil. I hope that is some comfort to the dead of Sandbyborg. /FIN https://youtu.be/QRg_8NNPTD8
You can follow @MikeStuchbery_.
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