Battered skeleton of Scot ‘brutally murdered’ 1400 years ago may have been a ROYAL

AN ANCIENT Scot who was subjected to a gruesome death 1,400 years ago might have actually been a royal, according to new research.

The Pictish man with a smashed skull was found in a Scottish cave a few years ago but recent analysis has given more clues as to who he was and how he met such an ugly demise.

Archaeologists excavating a recess in the Rosemarkie Caves in the Black Isle were amazed to discover the skeleton of the young man.

Forensic anthropologists from Dundee University were able to determine that he died with five severe fractures to his head that may have been caused by being repeatedly hit with a weapon.

The mans teeth were broke, his jaw was fractured and at one point the weapon would have been driven straight through the front of his skull right to the back as he lay on the ground.

The fact he was buried in a cave was considered to be a more respectful burial despite his injuries and this idea fits in with new analysis by the Rosemarkie Caves Project, which suggests the victim was likely to have been a prominent member of the community, such as a royal or a clan leader.

The new analysis has showed that the Pictish man had a high protein diet, which was only common for wealthier members of society at the time.

Simon Gunn, founder of the project, said: “He was a big, strong fella – built like a rugby player – very heavily built above the waist.

“It’s rather peculiar that he had a very high-protein diet throughout his life, to the extent that it’s as if he had been eating nothing but suckling pigs.

“He was a bit special, that could be royalty or a chieftain.

“Obviously he had a rather brutal death, but he was buried quite carefully in that cave.”

The skeleton also has no other injuries apart from the ones inflicted just before death, suggesting that the man had a fairly easy life and was not a warrior.

Researchers at Dundee University digitally reconstructed the mans face, showing him with long hair and a thick beard.

Piles of animal bones near his final resting place have led the Rosemarkie Caves Project researchers to suspect there was a feast after the murder was carried out.

The Pictish man’s body was placed in a cross legged position with rocks holding down his arms and legs, which could have also been for ceremonial purposes.

Radiocarbon-dating suggests the murder occurred sometime between 430 and 630.

The Picts were a group of tribes who lived in Scotland between 270-900AD and were known for their ferocious battles and being ‘painted people’, a tradition that is alluded to in Braveheart when Mel Gibson paints his face.

In other archaeology news, the mystery of a lost European civilisation ‘wiped out 4,000 years ago’ may have been solved.

The lost Church of the Apostles where Jesus’ disciples once lived ‘finally discovered’, archaeologists claim.

Europe’s oldest human footprints have been found on a Norfolk beach – and belong to mystery 950,000-year-old ancestor.

What do you make of this brutal discovery? Let us know in the comments…

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AN ANCIENT Scot who was subjected to a gruesome death 1,400 years ago might have actually been a royal, according to new research. The Pictish man with a smashed skull was found in a Scottish cave a few years ago but recent analysis has given more clues as to who he was and how he…

AN ANCIENT Scot who was subjected to a gruesome death 1,400 years ago might have actually been a royal, according to new research. The Pictish man with a smashed skull was found in a Scottish cave a few years ago but recent analysis has given more clues as to who he was and how he…