A mass grave containing only women and children has been discovered in the Peak District and is believed to date from the Iron Age. Nine skeletons were found in the ditch of Fin Cop Hillfort and experts believe hundreds more may be buried in the area as a result of Iron Age warfare. Fin Cop was constructed between 440 BC and 390 BC and unlike other hill forts, which are assumed to have been used as displays of power and prestige, appears to have been hastily built to defend against attack. It is thought that the women and children in the first segregated grave from the period may have been killed after the capture of the fort.
Archaeologists in Syria have found evidence of early over-hunting and the mass slaughter of animals. Communities living in Northern Syria 6,000 years ago built killing pits and walled enclosures in which to funnel entire herds of gazelles. Nearby rock paintings depicting the mass slaughters suggest that the hunting was part of a spiritual social practice after which the animals would have been consumed or traded. The killing of so many gazelles would have had a disastrous impact on the Syrian animal population at the time. The killing enclosures can still be seen from the air and became known as ‘desert kites’ when British air force pilots flew over them in the early 20th century.
The body of former Chilean President Salvador Allende is to be exhumed on his family’s request in an attempt to finally determine whether he was killed by Augusto Pinochet’s soldiers or took his own life during the 1973 coup. The investigation into his death is just one of 726 cases in an inquiry into the historic rights abuses committed during Pinochet’s rule. Allende’s body was found in the Presidential Palace after it had been subjected to a ground and air attack. Despite an official post mortem confirmed by a doctor, that stated Allende had committed suicide, some of his supporters still believe Allende was killed by soldiers. It is thought by some, however, that digging up the past in this manner could rouse old tensions in a population that was divided in their opinion of the socialist ruler.