Archaeologists find mass grave in ancient Chinese ruins.


The past is filled with all sorts of terrifying and bizarre occurrences. Some of these events make their way into the history books, but many of them are lost to time. Every now and again, though, archaeologists unearth something that reminds us of history’s darker times.

A research team in China was thrilled to excavate the ruins of an ancient settlement in Inner Mongolia, knowing they would likely uncover some interesting artifacts. They found pottery and tools, just as they expected, but they uncovered something much more sinister, too…

Recently, a team from China’s Jilin University and the Inner Mongolian Institute of Archaeology and Cultural Relics started excavating a site near the Mongolian town of Shebotu.


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The team worked to unearth an ancient village that they believed was around 5,000 years old. As they excavated, they began to suspect that the site was much more significant than they had originally thought.

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Chinese Archaeology

 

The location was called Hamin Mangha and they wrote that it was the “largest and best-preserved prehistoric settlement site found to date in northeast China.” The researchers hoped it would offer unprecedented insights into the prehistoric people who had lived there.

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Chinese Archaeology

They soon determined that they were uncovering the central village of a much larger settlement. At its peak, it may have covered as much as 1 million square miles, and included desert, forest, and lake regions.

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Flickr / ehrgeizier

 

After their initial discoveries, the scientists limited their investigation to an area of around 30,000 square feet, which was still the largest excavation of an ancient settlement ever attempted in this region of China…

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Youtube / Seeker Network

Quickly, the archaeologists began to piece together a picture of life in the village. They found the foundations of 43 separate dwellings, a number of burial sites, and numerous artifacts like fragments of pottery, tools, and weapons.

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Youtube / Seeker Network

The settlement was thought to be so old that it predated the use of the written word, but its inhabitants had fairly sophisticated methods of farming and hunting, and they lived in stable communities like the one at Hamin Mangha.

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Youtube / Seeker Network

 

The dwellings the archaeologists came across varied greatly in size. The smallest were about 75 square feet and consisted of a single room with a fireplace for cooking; the biggest were around five times that size and had multiple rooms.

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Youtube / Seeker Network

The archaeologists and researchers were thrilled with their findings at Hamin Mangha, but as they began to unearth a dwelling designated “F40,” their enthusiasm quickly gave way to shock when they uncovered a spine-tingling scene…

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Youtube / Seeker Network

In the ruins of the small structure, the researchers unearthed almost 100 deformed skeletons and it seemed the building had caught on fire at some point with all the bodies inside.

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Youtube / Seeker Network

It was obvious to everyone involved that these bodies weren’t stacked this way naturally, and the remains seemed to conflict with that which was already understood about the ancient people’s burial traditions. The team was eager to figure out what happened.

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Chinese Archaeology

 

They determined that the remains of at least 97 people were present, that the bodies had been stacked several layers deep, and that there was a vague pattern to the way they were arranged.

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Chinese Archaeology

The archaeologists’ report describe how “the skeletons in the northwest are relatively complete, while those in the east often [have] only skulls, with limb bones scarcely remaining. But in the south, limb bones were discovered in a mess, forming two or three layers.”

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Flickr / james j8246

Tests of the remains revealed that the average age of death was 27, and while the bodies of young children had been buried there, there were no remains of older people in the community, which researchers assumed had been buried elsewhere.

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Chinese Archaeology

What continued to puzzle the scientists was the fact that the bones were blackened and burned. A fire had obviously engulfed the structure, but they were unsure whether it had been intentionally set for some reason or whether it was an accident.

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Chinese Arcaheology

The researchers continued to debate whether the collection of remains represented some sort of ritual burial that they were previously unfamiliar with, or whether the remains ended up the way they did for another reason.

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Youtube / Seeker Network

The team members from Jilin University published a paper asserting their theory that this burial was the result of some large-scale disaster that swept the community, like the outbreak of a deadly illness that older settlers may have already been exposed to.

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The researchers also drew a parallel between Hamin Mangha and another excavation location at Miaozigou, in northeastern China. There, another mass burial site had been found with the remains of roughly the same age as at Hamin Mangha.

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At Miaozigou, it seemed clearer that a disease had swept through the settlement and that the mass burial was the result of the illness’s swift destruction of much of the population. It seemed that there simply hadn’t been time for a proper burial at either site…

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Flickr / james j8246

 

They were confident about the disease theory, but less clear about the cause of the fire. Some argued that it was set deliberately to stop the diseased bodies from causing further harm while others suggested that there was no evidence to support that theory. Either way, the researchers would never forget the bizarre, gruesome find at Hamin Mangha.

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Flickr / Guo Qi

It must have been really alarming for the archaeologists to be expecting pottery and tools only to come across a mass grave! The entire scenario really is quite strange.

Share this mysterious discovery with your friends below!
Source: boredomtherapy.com


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