This Week In History News, Apr. 28 – May 4

Published May 3, 2019

Legendary Eskimo slaughter site uncovered, Ancient Greek murder mystery solved, Black Death-era coins dug up.

Archaeologists Finally Uncover Grisly Evidence Of Legendary 17th-Century Eskimo Massacre

Eskimo Village In Alaska

Universal History Archive/UI/Getty Images

According to centuries-old folklore from the Eskimos of southwestern Alaska, also known as the Yup’ik, an innocent dart game once sparked a historically bloody massacre. Now, 350 years later, a group of archaeologists may have found proof that this tragic tale is actually at least partially true.

Researchers from the University of Aberdeen uncovered the remains of 28 people during an excavation at Agaligmiut, an old Alaskan village that once belonged to the Yup’ik.

Some of the bodies that have been discovered had been tied up with grass rope and executed with their faces down, while other bodies displayed holes in the backs of their skulls that suggested piercings from a spear or an arrow.

Dig deeper here.

Strange Hole In Ancient Greek Skeleton’s Chest Allows Researchers To Solve Murder Mystery

Ancient Greek Man's Sternum

Anagnostis Agelarakis/Access ArchaeologyPart of the Ancient Greek man’s fossilized breastbone.

When a team of archaeologists discovered the remains of 57 people at an excavation site on the Greek island of Thasos, one particular skeleton sparked a longstanding mystery. The almost perfectly circular hole in its sternum was either the result of a birth defect — or a stark sign of violence.

Scientists initially believed the hole was caused by sternal foramen, a birth defect that prevents a person’s sternum from forming completely. The precision of the hole, however, led researchers to quickly abandon that conclusion in search of a more logical alternative.

The team now firmly believes the circular hole resulted not from a biological defect, but from a styrax — the spike at the end of a spear shaft.

See more in this report.

557 Rare Coins From Black Death Era Dug Up By Amateur Metal Detectorists

Metal Detectorists Group Find Valuable Coins

EnglandsHistory/SWNSThe group of amateur metal detectorists, known as the the “Metal Detectives Group”, discovered 557 gold and silver coins that date back to the 14th century.

A group of amateur metal detectorists uncovered 557 rare gold and silver coins during an annual event. The hoard of coins is estimated to date back to the 14th century around the height of the Black Death. The findings are worth an estimated £150,000 (or $195,000).

The cache of coins was discovered by a group of four men during a detectorists rally called “Detectival”, where hundreds of amateur metal detectorists gather to scour hundreds of acres of English countryside in hopes of discovering artifacts just like the rare coins that were discovered.

Read on here.

All That's Interesting
Established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together a dedicated staff of digital publishing veterans and subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science. From the lesser-known byways of human history to the uncharted corners of the world, we seek out stories that bring our past, present, and future to life. Privately-owned since its founding, All That's Interesting maintains a commitment to unbiased reporting while taking great care in fact-checking and research to ensure that we meet the highest standards of accuracy.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.