Their concentration at Knobb’s Farm, which represents a third of their graves, makes the site an exceptional event. “Various interpretations have been put forward to describe the decapitated bodies of the Roman era: human sacrifices, punishment for slaves, persecution of minorities, trophies or the continuation of Iron Age worship, protection against war, robbery, murder or witchcraft.” Archaeologist Isabel Lispova led the excavations at Knobs Farm.
Osteological examination of the bodies brought to light at the site has made it possible to eliminate most of these hypotheses. Analysis of the two of them concluded that their heads had been severed before death by a single blow with a sword.
The other two who were beheaded had deep wounds to the skull and the other to the face and body. Wounds that may be a sign of torture, although researchers do not rule out that they were autopsied.
According to them, these tortured bodies are not the bodies of slaves, although they bear the marks of hard physical labor, betraying the deceased’s own to the bottom of the social ladder. Roman law allowed slaves to be hanged, with more severe punishments than beheading, crucifixion, or arson.
“Beeraholic. Friend of animals everywhere. Evil web scholar. Zombie maven.”