Bizarre Burials Uncovered in Ancient Georgia Cemetery Include Headless Skeletons and Decapitated Skull on a Plate
A team of Georgian and Polish archaeologists working at the Beshtasheni burial site of south-eastern Georgia have uncovered 16 graves dating from the Late Bronze to Early Iron Age. Most of the burials were covered with a stone or dirt mound or large stone slabs. Although the style of the outside of the graves may not seem exceptional, some of the remains found within are.
The second of the strange graves was that of a young woman. What is notable about this burial is that it contained only the head of the woman with some grave goods. The researchers estimate that she was between 17-25 years old at time of her death. Her skull was buried on top of a disc and surrounded by beads, small vessels, and some poorly preserved metal objects.
The distinct vessel is characterized by a tall, slender form at the bottom and a large upper lip. PAP says that “Many units have a hole in the central part of the bottom of the vessel, making it even harder for archaeologists to interpret.” Hamburg pointed out that the vessels are unique to the region, however they found an unexpected amount amongst these graves.
Dr. Dimitri Narimanishvili of the Georgian National Museum also told PAP that the Beshtasheni cemetery provides a final resting place for people who were both farmers and warriors. Many of the graves held weapons, which he believes suggests a strong militarization of the community.