Publication details

Decapitations in the Medieval Hospital Cemetery from Znojmo, Czech Republic



Year of publication 2009
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Anthropologie : [international journal of the science of man]
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Archaeology, anthropology, ethnology
Keywords decapitation; middle age; Znojmo; cut marks
Description The rescue archaeological research of a defunct hospital cemetery in Znojmo uncovered 147 graves with 149 individuals dated into 13th - 16th century. In exhumed skeletal collection were, besides a large number of skeletons affected by diseases, revealed four men and one woman with cut marks on cervical vertebras caused probably by decapitation were revealed. The bodies of three males were buried in single graves, young female and older male were found in double grave. The positions of the bodies in graves were almost uniform but the location of the heads varied. The basic osteological examination was made to determine sex, age and stature of these individuals and detailed paleopathological analysis was undertaken with focus target on pathological changes in vertebras. Lesions were located in lower part of cervical spine. All vertebras show similar cut marks made by sharp and heavy instrument, probably sword. The reason of beheading seems to be judicial execution.

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.

More info