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1,000-year-old Viking teeth show signs of brutal ‘initiation ritual’ that acted as a strange form of ID [Video]

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Emergency Medical Procedures

AN ANCIENT set of teeth from the Viking era has revealed signs of a brutal “initiation ritual” that marked their social identities.

Damnnig new evidence found after studying 1000-year-old remains of a man shows the Vikings filled horizontal grooves into the teeth that apparently helped them to identify as merchant men.

Picture of a Viking’s teeth filled with horizontal groovesCredit: Jam Press/SHM/Lisa Hartzell
The crescent-shaped grooves were found on all upper incisorsCredit: Jam Press/SHM/Johnny Karlsson
A skull of a man with filed teeth and a healed fracture from Viking Age GotlandCredit: Jam Press/SHM/Gabriel Hildebrand

Archaeologists Matthias Toplak of the Viking Museum Haithabu and Lukas Kerk of the University of M√ľnster in Germany found the bizarre tooth filings in the remains of 130 males from the Baltic isle of Gotland.

Masterfully filled horizontal grooves have been found inside the skulls of men from Sweden and Denmark in a practice that experts think may have persisted for years.

Research suggests that these teeth fillings were found in places …

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