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Brutal Viking 'blood eagle' ritual execution was anatomically possible – new research

By Luke John Murphy, Postdoctoral Researcher in Archaeology, University of Iceland
Heidi Fuller, Senior Lecturer in Medical Science, Keele University
Monte Gates, Senior Lecturer in Medicine and Neuroscience, Keele University
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Famed for their swift longboats and bloody incursions, Vikings have long been associated with bloody, over-the-top violence. Between the eighth and 11th centuries, these groups left their Nordic homelands to make their fortunes by trading and raiding across Europe.

Particularly famous is the so-called “blood eagle”, a gory and brutal ritual these warriors are said to have performed on their most hated enemies. The ritual allegedly involved carving the victim’s back open and cutting their ribs away from their spine, before the lungs were pulled out through the resulting wounds. The…The Conversation


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