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Thread: Mystery of the 'Couple' Buried Arm in Arm 1,000 Years Ago: Not Husband and Wife but Saxon Warriors

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    Mystery of the 'Couple' Buried Arm in Arm 1,000 Years Ago: Not Husband and Wife but Saxon Warriors



    For a thousand years they have lain side by side in a rough earth grave, one throwing a skeletal arm across the other.

    Believed to be Saxon warriors, they are thought to have died together and been buried together as brothers in arms.

    Their return to the limelight after so many centuries comes as archaeologists work on a 90-acre site near Ramsgate in Kent before it is developed into a salad-growing complex.

    At first they were taken to be a man and wife, buried some time during the Saxon period between 410 and 1066, but now that opinion has changed.

    Adrian Gollop, project officer at the Canterbury Archaeological Trust, said: 'It is quite a rare discovery.

    'The body on the right is definitely male.

    'They are exceptionally tall, both over six feet. The one on the left has got some female traits to it but it does seem to be male.

    'Until we get the bones examined, we cannot be 100 per cent certain.

    'We think they could have been buried as brothers in arms.

    'There were no artefacts buried with them to give us any clues. It is a bit of a mystery.'

    The trust hopes that forensic tests on the bones will help solve the puzzle.

    Other graves and artefacts ranging from the early bronze age between 2700BC and 1500BC to medieval times have been found on the site.

    Another poignant grave is from the Roman era and is that of a young girl - thought to be in her early teens - who died in childbirth.

    The mother and baby seem to have been buried soon after death with the young girl still holding a smoothed pebble she was probably holding as a comforter during labour.

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    Aw, I like the idea of man and wife, it sounds so much more sweeter. Warriors are interesting as well. No one has mentioned a homosexual couple?

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    Homosexuality was so despised by the Teutonic tribes that it is very unlikely of them being gayz0rz. I think a further inspection of the skeletal remains is needed. Nordic females often can be somewhat androgenous. He did mention the skeleton had some female traits and thus a further inspection is necessery. It could very well be just two male bodies dumped in a grave like that.

    Here's the news article for you Crystal: http://shahrzaad.wordpress.com/2008/...eleton-lovers/

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    Anything's possible. I don't know, maybe they were secret lovers and ran off together? Just a thought. I'm curious to see the test results from the bones. Maybe they were just two really cold dudes trying to keep warm and froze to death? Either way, it's fascinating. So, thank you Ulf.

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    I was thinking that maybe they're not brothers-in-arms but just brothers buried together. There aren't any weapons or such found buried with them. I think that the position of their corpses can't really tell us much about their relationship though, as they may have ended up like that by mere chance.

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    When I visited Birka, the Viking settlement and massive graveyard on an island in the lake west of Stockholm, the guide claimed that occasionally skeletons were found to be of the opposite sex from what one would expect based on the objects they were buried with. She also claimed that they had discovered a grave of what was very likely to be a homosexual couple respected in the community.

    I could not find any other evidence of this but then I do not have access to Scandinavian archeological journals where such evidence might be reported.

    There is only so much we can know about social structure of the time based on a few texts and a few gravesites.
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    I seriously doubt that these or any Germanic people from this period were a bunch of gayz0rs buried together(The concept of homosexuality came from Greeks, where the older men had to teach the younger boys...sexual stuff as well, some boys found that fun, others didn't, then the concept was carried across to the Romans, and spread throughout the world.). The bodies are very obscurly placed and could have just been thrown in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teuton View Post
    I seriously doubt that these or any Germanic people from this period were a bunch of gayz0rs buried together(The concept of homosexuality came from Greeks, where the older men had to teach the younger boys...sexual stuff as well, some boys found that fun, others didn't, then the concept was carried across to the Romans, and spread throughout the world.). The bodies are very obscurly placed and could have just been thrown in.
    No, homosexuality as with a lot of other practices such as fighting or eating or worshipping is found in all culture areas. What differs is how it is understood, spoken about, and organized. In some areas it is open and talked about and in others it is underground. In Black Africa, a common practice is to loudly pretend it was a foreign perversion introduced by colonial governments, but that is not evidence of its absence. There are different patterns to sexual behavior in Mediterranean societies than in Germanic ones, or in Chinese or American Indian ones. All differ from the contemporary tendency to view homosexuals as a pseudo-ethnic group.

    The ancient Greco-Roman practices are better documented as they left more evidence in their writings and stone sculptures than did Germanics whose culture was oral or inscribed on wood.

    In general, this distortion in the distribution of written evidence has led historians to overestimate the Greco-Roman roots of Western Civilization at the expense of the Germanic contribution.
    The sitters in the hall seldom know
    The kin of the new-comer:
    The best man is marred by faults,
    The worst is not without worth.
    -- The Havamal, #133 (trans. Auden and Taylor)

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    Here is the Telegraph report. Ulf , you didnt give your source.

    Saxon grave 'couple' may have been two men

    Archaeologists have unearthed the mysterious remains of what first appears to be a couple buried together arm in arm more than 1,000 years ago.

    DT 08 Sep 2008

    The bodies date back to between 410AD and 1066AD (!!) Saxon/ #Jutish(?)

    The amazing discovery shows the "couple" laying side by side in the grave with one's arm across the other.

    But the discovery has left experts (NB) with a 1,000-year-old mystery.

    They know that the body pictured on the right is that of a man, over 6ft tall but they believe that the body on the left is also that of a man as well.

    First they thought the couple were a man and wife united in death. But now they believe they could be two men who were 'brothers in arms', possibly warriors, who died together and were buried in the one grave.



    Now they are waiting for forensic tests to be carried out to determine the sex ( ie. gender!! )of the pair and exactly when they were buried.


    The remains were just some of dozens of finds at a huge archaeological dig which has been underway for the past year at the planned development of a giant salad growing complex near Ramsgate, Kent#.

    Adrian Gollop, project officer at the Canterbury Archaeological Trust which has been masterminding the work before the builders move in, said: "It is quite a rare discovery..........

    "The body on the right is definitely male.

    "They are exceptionally tall - both over 6ft. The one on the left has got some female traits to it but it does seem to be male.

    "Until we get the bones examined, we cannot be 100 per cent certain.

    "They were found surrounded by a ring ditch.

    "At first we thought they were early Iron Age but now we think they were from much later - in the Saxon period.

    "Rather than looking at the two graves as a couple, we now think they could have been buried as brothers in arms. They died together and were buried together.

    "There were no artefacts buried with them to give us any clues. It is a bit of a mystery really."

    The tests on the bones have yet to be carried out but it is hoped that the forensic examination will give the team more clues into who the pair were.

    Archaeologists have found a wealth of graves and artefacts ranging from the Early Bronze Age (between 2700 BC and 1500 BC) and the Medieval period on the vast 90 acres site.

    Adrian said: "It has been fantastic archaeologically."

    In one section, 18 burials have been found including 16 humans and two dogs.

    The team has uncovered hundreds of pits (many probably silos to store grain over the winter) and post holes (remains of wooden structures), numerous fragments of pottery jars and bowls, animal bones (sheep, cattle, pig), abundant charred remains of plants and pulses (especially cereals and peas) and burials of both humans and animals.

    Five of the human burials were found in ditches surrounding the main area of Iron Age activity and may have been placed there to 'protect the settlement. Other burials may have been offerings.

    Another poignant grave is that of a young girl - thought to be aged in her early teens - who died during a breech birth along with her baby.

    The mother and baby seem to have been buried soon after death with the young girl still holding a smoothed pebble she was probably holding during the traumatic labour as a comforter.

    Adrian said: "We think she is from the Roman era. She was close to a cemetery of about 20-24 people but she was on her own.

    "It was a breech birth and the baby was still in the birth canal.

    "She was found with a flint pebble. Some think it may have been ready to cut the umbilical cord but it a smoothed pebble on both sides. We think it could have been held by the mother during childbirth to comfort her."

    The archaeological field work is expected to finish later this month.

    ===============

    Forensic keenly awaited...............

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    They aren't "arm in arm", they were buried side by side and one's arm is across the other, but it's on top. It's just happenstance and much more likely than not, means nothing at all.
    Don't let Europe Rule Britannia!

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