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12 December 2010
Turkish skeleton found with arrow tip in spine

The body of a man with an arrow tip still lodged in his spine was found during ongoing excavations in Bursa's Aktopraklık tumulus (Turkey). Archeologists believe that the man had died shortly after he was shot. The tumulus where the skeleton was buried is estimated to have a history of about 8,500 years.
     "This tomb of a man in his 30s from the early Chalcolithic period did not seem unusual at first glance. On closer examination of the skeleton, we discovered a deep arrow wound in the bottom of his spine," paleoanthropologist Songül Alpaslan Roodenberg from the excavation team said. Roodenberg also noted that the arrow tip was made of flint and it was lodged 12 millimeters into the spine. "It is most likely that the arrow struck his spine and damaged the abdominal aorta, which was located near the path of the arrow. This indicates that the man died shortly after he was injured," she explained.
     The paleoanthropologist added: "It seems that he was injured not far from the village and was taken back to the village shortly after he died. Otherwise, it would have been impossible for him to be buried in the traditional fetal position." Roodenberg also noted that the tumulus, whose history stretches back to about 8,500 years ago, is one of the earliest farming villages. Nearly 60 tombs have been discovered during excavations at the ancient site, which were launched seven years ago with the support of the Bursa Metropolitan Municipality. The tombs are from the Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods.

Edited from Today's Zaman (9 December 2010)

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