Photos: 1,500-Year-Old Massacre Site Unearthed

Odd circumstances

sandby borg

(Image credit: Kalmar County Museum)

About 1,500 years ago a fortress that is now called "Sandby borg" came under a surprise attack. Archaeologists found that the inhabitants were slaughtered, many of them didn't even have the chance to face their attackers. This picture shows the skeleton of a teenager who fell backward over a dead or dying adult. The house where these two were found has at least nine dead individuals. [Read more about the ancient massacre site]

Unexpected event

sandby borg

(Image credit: Kalmar County Museum)

This teenager was found at Sandby borg in the house where at least nine people were killed suddenly. The skeleton of half a herring suggests that the people in this house were eating when they were attacked.

Treasured items

Sandby Borg jewelry

(Image credit: Daniel Lindskog)

Some fantastic jewelry has also been discovered at Sandby borg. This photograph shows jewelry found in the house where at least nine people were killed. A brooch along with glass beads, rings and other forms of jewelry were discovered. Four deposits of jewelry were found in other locations at Sandby borg.

Wealthy victims

Sandby Borg jewelry

(Image credit: Daniel Lindskog)

Five gilded brooches that were found in five different hidden deposits at Sandby borg. Made of silver and gilded with gold archaeologists believe that they belonged to aristocratic women.

Evidence of time

Sandby Borg jewelry

(Image credit: Daniel Lindskog)

More of the jewelry discovered at Sandby borg. At left is a glass sword bead. At center is a gold coin showing Roman Emperor Valentinian III (reign 425-455) and at right is a gilded sword pendant.

Desecrated and deserted

Sandby Borg

(Image credit: Kalmar County Museum)

A plan of Sandby borg. 53 structures are surrounded by a wall that is four to five meters (13 feet to 16 feet) high and has three gates. The site was abandoned after the attack, the dead were not even buried.

Uncovering history

sandby borg

(Image credit: Sebastian Jakobsson)

This photograph shows "house 4" being excavated. It is located beside the walls of the fortress.