Wed
Jan 19 2011 2:32pm

“Speak, speak, thou fearful guest...”

This fascinating article from The Economist details the excavation of a Wars-of-the-Roses battlefield in the north of England, and specifically, the mortal hurts dealt to a skeleton dubbed Towton 25. He has a lot to tell us about medieval warfare and weaponry: There aren’t quite twenty trenchéd gashes on his head, but archeologists can tell the order of the head wounds from the way that newer fractures veer toward older ones, and our man had several non-fatal blows from a bladed weapon before the ringer. (The one that cut his face in half, however, was post-mortem. Yikes.) Why wasn’t he wearing a helmet? Read and find out! Neat history awaits you.

Image by Flickr user Gonzo Carles, used under CC license

5 comments
Ellen B. Wright
1. ellenw
Oof, I wish the book on it weren't so expensive. I bet that'd be fascinating reading (as is the article, of course).
peachy
4. peachy
There's a section in the Osprey on Towton about the excavations, including a photo of a really nifty reconstruction of one of the fatalities... poor chap had suffered a massive facial wound at some point prior to the battle, which had actually healed sufficiently for him to fight again.
Megan Messinger
5. thumbelinablues
@EllenW, And the NYPL only has reference copies! On the other hand, there are worse places to spend an afternoon than the reading room....

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