Death Pit


Published May 1, 2007 2:52 PM

Archaeologists who excavated the remains of more than 40 decapitated and dismembered people in south-central Turkey have determined that the victims died about 7,500 years ago. They have also established that the site where the bodies were found was a "death pit," a mass burial mound.

But who dismantled the bodies and why? And were the teeth marks on the bones actually made — as they appear to be — by humans? Was it warfare, cannibalism or some kind of ritual? Elizabeth Carter, lead archaeologist on the dig and a researcher with UCLA's Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, is working to solve this mystery.

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