It was an eerie scene in Transylvania, Romania, when researchers unearthed several human skeletons that were buried with pottery vessels over their head or feet. The Neolithic cemetery dates back around 6,000 years and was found when the researchers were working at a historical area before construction was set to take place.
Beginning in July of this year, researchers excavated an area of more than 10,000 square feet and that’s when they discovered several graves containing human skeletons. Additionally, a big pit was found close to the remains that would have been used to store food before turning into a landfill where waste from numerous houses ended up.
Furthermore, the remnants of an ancient Celtic civilization that lived there approximately 2,200 years ago were also discovered. Researchers found evidence of an incineration cemetery at the site as they cremated the deceased and buried the urns. Along with the urns, they buried several offerings like items made from iron. While these individuals cremated the deceased, those living in the Stone Age buried them and those were the remains found with the vessels covering their head or feet.
As for why the individuals were buried with pottery vessels over their head or feet, the researchers claimed that they were placed there as an offering to the afterlife. In an interview with gherlaininfo.ro, Paul Pupeză, who is an archaeologist at the Transylvania National History Museum, said in part (translated version), “Their story must be told, revealed, through such excavations. By learning more about them, we will know more about ourselves. We are the first to get our hands on these fragments, after thousands of years,” adding, “The field work is quite hard, we work in the dust, in the heat or in the rain, and the results are not always very spectacular. But we are privileged to take this look into the past and reveal something special!”
A picture of one of the skeletons can be seen here.
As interesting as this is, it isn’t the only significant discovery that has been made in Romania over the past several years. In fact, some of the oldest human footprints ever found in Europe were discovered by archeologists in Ciur-Izbuc Cave. Radiocarbon dating revealed that the 400 footprints were from 36,500 years ago and were made by six or seven individuals including at least one child (those pictures can be seen here).