timewatch: mystery of the headless romans, the

The discovery of 30 decapitated Roman bodies in York has kicked off an intense archaeological investigation. Who were these men and what happened to them?

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1 x 60'

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Episode Information

On the outskirts of York, archaeologists have made a remarkable yet sinister discovery. Just 60 miles from the edge of the known Roman world, Hadrian’s Wall, they have unearthed the skeletons of 49 beheaded men. Even stranger – one of the victims was buried with thick iron rings around his ankles that could only have been forged onto him while he was alive. Never has anything like this been discovered in the Roman world. So were these men legionaries defeated and then defiled after battle? Or enemies whose ghosts the Romans did not want returning to haunt them. This is a unique find and Timewatch has been given exclusive access to the discovery… Who were these men and why were they decapitated? Were they beheaded before or after their death? Was this a ritual killing, a punishment, or were they killed in battle? And who was the man with the leg irons – a slave or prisoner? Using dramatic inserts to illustrate the various hypotheses; state of the art CGI to bring the city of York and Hadrian’s Wall back to life as they once were.

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