Bronze Age regicide? German forensics team say prince of Helmsdorf was murdered

DW.COM | 9/18/2018 | Staff
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A group of archaeologists and forensic researchers in the eastern German city of Halle, Saxony-Anhalt, announced Tuesday that after reexamining the bones of the prince of Helmsdorf they have concluded that he was murdered. The attack, carried out 3,846 years ago, is now the world's oldest known political murder.

The forensic examination took place at the urging of Kai Michel, who co-authored a new book on the Nebra Sky Disc with Saxony-Anhalt State Archaeologist Harald Meller. The two suggest that the Bronze Age Unetice culture, which produced the disc depicting the cosmos, was the first high culture to evolve north of the Alps.

Speaking - Importance - Examination - Kai - Michel

Speaking of the importance of the examination, Kai Michel says: "Ultimately we are dealing with the only known remains of someone directly linked to the Nebra Sky Disc. And as far as we can tell, we have now found evidence of the oldest political assassination in history."

The Nebra sky disc is a sensational archaeological find: It features the world's oldest known depiction of a cosmic phenomenon. It was found by treasure-hunters with a metal detector in Saxony in 1999. Estimated to be 3,600 years old, the bronze disk with gold symbols reveals an impressive understanding of astronomical phenomena combined with the religious beliefs of its time.

Anthropologists - Prince - Bones - Signs - Injury

Although anthropologists inspecting the prince's bones in 2012 suspected signs of injury, they were unable to find conclusive evidence. But on Tuesday, Frank Ramsthaler, deputy director of the University of Saarland Institute for Forensic Medicine, said: "We have been able to verify three clear injuries to the bones. There were likely more injuries, but all three of those we confirmed would have been lethal. The murder weapon may have been a dagger, the blade of which would have to have been at least 15 centimeters (just under 6 inches) long."

Ramsthaler said the prince...
(Excerpt) Read more at: DW.COM
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