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Arrowhead found lodged in Iron Age warrior’s spine

An arrowhead has been found embedded in the spine of an Iron Age warrior. The arrow was not the cause of death as the warrior lived long enough for the bone to heal around the metal point.

“This found individual was extremely lucky to survive,” said study researcher Svetlana Svyatko, a research fellow in the school of geography, archaeology and paleoecology at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland. “It’s hard to get a vertebral wound without damaging the main blood vessels, which would have resulted in an immediate death.”

The male warrior was likely between 25 and 45 years old, and stood 5 foot 7 inches (174 centimeters) in height, which was tall considering that his people stood an average of 5 foot 4 inches (165 cm) in height, the researchers said. They found his grave, an elaborate burial mound called a “kurgan,” after getting a tip from local people who live in the area.

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Story: Laura Geggel, LiveScience | Photo: Svetlana Svyatko

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