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A gruesome discovery of filed teeth has been made during the analysis of the Weymouth Relief Road Viking burial pit remains.
A pair of front teeth with deep horizontal grooves cut into them have been found and added to the story of what is known about the beheaded victims.
Oxford Archaeology project manager David Score said:
"It's difficult to say how painful the process of filing teeth may have been, but it wouldn't have been a pleasant experience.
"The incisions have been very carefully made and it is most likely that they were filed by a skilled craftsman.
"The purpose behind filed teeth remains unclear but, as we know these men were warriors, it may have been to frighten opponents in battle or to show their status as a great fighter."
Dorset County Council senior archaeologist Steve Wallis said:
"It is very rare that this kind of deliberate dental modification is found in European remains, although it is often found in cultures from around the world, so that it was found in an excavation in Dorset is fantastic.
"It's great that the burial pit on Ridgeway is still surprising us and teaching us more about who these men may have been and what they may have been like."
Specialists examining the remains have also uncovered further evidence of the brutal way in which the men died, with one skeleton having six cut marks to the back of the neck.
Archaeologists are continuing to study all the artefacts from the relief road site and it is hoped that the in-depth report will be published next year.
To read more interesting snippets from the analysis so far visit: www.dorsetforyou.com/weymouthreliefroad