This Week In History News, Jul. 10 – 16

Published July 15, 2022

Iron Age skeletons found alongside animal sacrifices in England, Viking artifacts discovered among costume jewelry in Norway, and a hidden van Gogh uncovered in Scotland.

2,100-Year-Old Human Remains Uncovered In A Macabre Arrangement With Animal Body Parts In Southern England

Iron Age Skeleton At Dorset

Bournemouth UniversityThese bizarre grave sites were uncovered amid the remains of late Iron Age round houses and storage pits near Dorset, where pre-Roman inhabitants of Britain once had a thriving settlement in approximately 100 B.C.E.

While unearthing human remains from 100 B.C.E. at a pre-Roman archaeological site in southern England, researchers were shocked to find elaborate arrangements of animal body parts that had been fashioned into disturbing hybrid creatures. “In some pits, animal parts had been placed onto and together with other animals,” one researcher said, “for example we found a cow’s head on the body of a sheep.”

However, because historical records from this time and place are virtually nonexistent, researchers still have little insight into the rituals and beliefs that would have led to a grim display like this one.

Discover the full story behind these unusual finds here.

A Norwegian Woman Bought Some Cheap Costume Jewelry Online — And Found A Gold Viking Ring Mixed In

Gold Viking Ring

Vestland County MunicipalityExperts aren’t sure exactly who owned the ring originally, but the fact that it was made with gold suggests that it belonged to a high-status individual.

Mari Ingelin Heskestad, of Norway, recently ordered a batch of cheap costume jewelry online — and got way more than she expected. Among the gaudy baubles, Heskestad noticed a gold ring that turned out to be from the Viking era.

“I noticed that it was so heavy,” Heskestad explained. “It glistened and stood out among the other jewelry. It looked very special.”

Dig deeper in this report.

“Absolutely Thrilling”: Previously Unknown Vincent Van Gogh Self-Portrait Discovered Behind Another Painting

Hidden Van Gogh Self Portrait

Graeme Yule/National Galleries of ScotlandThe hidden Van Gogh self-portrait was found on the back of another painting.

When conservators at the National Galleries of Scotland began a routine X-ray of a Vincent van Gogh painting entitled Head of a Peasant Woman, they didn’t expect to find much. To their delight, they uncovered a forgotten Van Gogh self-portrait on the opposite side.

Read on here.

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A New York-based publisher established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science to share stories that illuminate our world.