Hey, I wrote about these guys! From CNN:
They were 51 young men who met a grisly death far from home, their heads chopped off and their bodies thrown into a mass grave.
Their resting place was unknown until last year, when workmen excavating for a road near the London 2012 Olympic sailing venue in Weymouth, England, unearthed the grave. But questions remained about who the men were, how long they had been there and why they had been decapitated.
On Friday, officials revealed that analysis of the men’s teeth shows they were Vikings, executed with sharp blows to the head around a thousand years ago. They were killed during the Dark Ages, when Vikings frequently invaded the region….
Radiocarbon dating had already placed the remains between A.D. 890 and 1030, before the Norman conquest of Anglo-Saxon England.
Scientists from the British Geological Survey then went further and analyzed the men’s teeth to find out exactly where they were from. Isotope analysis of teeth can reveal clues about a person’s drinking water, and in turn the climate they came from, said Jane Evans, an isotope geochemist at the survey.
“What we found was all of these guys came from a climate that had to be colder than Britain … probably Sweden and Norway,” Evans said by phone Friday. “One guy had such a signature of such a cold climate that he probably came from above the Arctic Circle.”
The isotopes also show the men had eaten a high-protein diet, comparable to known sites in Sweden. It means the men were probably Scandinavian Vikings who were executed by Anglo-Saxons….
Many of the executed men suffered multiple wounds, inflicted by a sharp-bladed weapon, to the skull, jaw and upper spine, all thought to relate to the process of decapitation, the Dorset County Council said.
Some men show evidence of other wounds, including a cut to the pelvis, blows to the chest and stomach, and defensive injuries to the hands, the council said.
The bones still appear cleanly sliced, indicating the men suffered a “sword-based execution,” Evans said.