An Iron Age man whose skull and brain was unearthed during excavations at the University of York was the victim of a gruesome ritual killing, according to new research.
Scientists say that fractures and marks on the bones suggest the man, who was aged between 26 and 45, died most probably from hanging, after which he was carefully decapitated and his head was then buried on its own.
Archaeologists discovered the remains in 2008 in one of a series of Iron Age pits on the site of the University's £750 million campus expansion at Heslington East. Brain material was still in the skull which dates back around 2500 years, making it one the oldest surviving brains in Europe.
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