A GRUESOME dental discovery has been unearthed during analysis of the Viking burial pit remains found during construction of the Weymouth Relief Road.

Experts analysing the findings have come across a filed pair of front teeth to add to the unravelling story about the beheaded victims.

The burial pit containing 51 decapitated skulls with their bodies strewn nearby was discovered on the Ridgeway in June, 2009, an experts have been busy examining the remains.

Oxford Archaeology project manager David Score said of the latest finding: “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.”

The burial pit is the first physical evidence of Vikings in this part of Britain and is one of the best examples of a Viking burial pit found in the country.

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 and it is hoped that the in-depth report will be published next year.

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