Shackled Skeletons Unearthed.


At least 80 skeletons lie in a mass grave in an ancient Greek cemetery, their wrists clamped by iron shackles.

They are the victims, say archaeologists, of a mass execution. But who they were, how they got there and why they
appear to have been buried with a measure of respect — that all remains a mystery.

They were found earlier this year in part of the Falyron Delta necropolis — a large ancient cemetery unearthed during the construction of a national opera house and library between downtown Athens and the port of Piraeus.


…But on a rare tour of the site, archeologists carefully showed Reuters the skeletons, some lying in a long neat row in
the dug-out sandy ground, others piled on top of each other, arms and legs twisted with their jaws hanging open.

“They have been executed, all in the same manner. But they have been buried with respect,” said Stella Chryssoulaki, head of excavations.

“They are all tied at the hands with handcuffs and most of them are very very young and in a very good state of health when they were executed.”

The experts hope DNA testing and research by anthropologists will uncover exactly how the rows of people died. Whatever happened was violent — most had their arms bound above their heads, the wrists tied together.

But the orderly way they have been buried suggest these were more than slaves or common criminals.


Haunting remains. Hopefully, an answer will be found. There’s a theory these might be the remains of young people involved in a coup attempt. The full article is here.


  1. says

    Just read the linked article. Interesting theory that the dead were rebels -- but that doesn’t make sense if they were all young and in good health. Hostages, maybe? Some political group’s families? But they’d be all different ages.

  2. says

    It’s been mentioned that the 80 executed skeletons are young men. Another article states:

    The orderly burial suggests that the victims were not common criminals dumped pell-mell, but were perhaps supporters of Cylon -- an Athenian noble who led a military coup in 632 BC. The coup attempt failed and, while Cylon and his brother managed to escape, supporters of the coup were captured.

    According to Greek historian Plutarch, the rulers of Athens told plotters that their lives would be spared if they surrendered peacefully. The followers complied, but were executed any way.

    That makes sense. Anyone plotting a coup would want a cadre of young, healthy fighters, and in a failed attempt, they would never be considered trustworthy again, so executions.

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