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Vikings filed their teeth

The remains of Vikings found in a mass grave in Dorset show that young warriors filed patterns into their teeth.

The front teeth have horizontal lines that were so neatly filed, archaeologists believe it must have been done by a skilled craftsman rather than by their owners, and the process undoubtedly would have been excruciating.

David Score, of Oxford Archaeology, the unit which has been studying the bones since they were discovered in a pit near Weymouth in 2009, 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 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.”

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Story: Maev Kennedy, The Guardian | Photo: PR

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