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18 December 2010
Bronze Age man with broken neck found in Spain

Archaeologists exploring a Bronze Age fortress at La Motilla del Azuer (Spain), have come across a very lucky man. One of the skeletons is of a man that lived more than 3,400 years ago and suffered a broken hyoid bone, likely caused by a blow to his neck. The hyoid bone is a horseshoe shaped object located at the root of the tongue. Amazingly enough the injury healed and the man lived be in his 40's. He was five and a half feet and had a 'moderate' build.
     "This injury is extremely rare apart from hanging and strangulation, and it is even rarer since the individual survived this injury to his neck. This injury was probably produced by a direct impact to the neck," the research team that made the discovery said. Although they don't have the specific date for the skeleton, the site itself dates back between 3,400 and 4,200 years ago.
     The research team is from the University of Granada, in Spain, and is led by Silvia Jiménez-Brobeil. They say that it's unlikely that this man's injury was an accident. "The location of the injury and the fact that it is healed, suggest that a direct impact was the cause rather than a bimanual strangulation," the team wrote. It is also known that the place where the fossil was found, Motilla del Azuer, was clearly built with war in mind. "It was a fortification, surrounded by a small settlement and a necropolis," a team of archaeologists led by Trinidad Najera Colino and Fernando Molina Gonzalez reported back in 2007. "The mound of the fortification which has been recovered has a diameter of about 50 metres, and is composed of a tower, two walled enclosures and a large courtyard."

Edited from Unreported Heritage News (17 December 2010), New Kerala (18 December 2010)

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