Worst death ever: Bike break-in and botched execution, man was apparently innocent

Worst death ever: Bike break-in and botched execution, man was apparently innocent
Worst death ever: Bike break-in and botched execution, man was apparently innocent
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As soon as archaeologists uncovered the body of a 17-20-year-old young man, they immediately saw that something was seriously wrong with him. Upon closer examination, they concluded that the young man had not only been subjected to cruel torture, but had also botched his execution.

Unimaginable pain and humiliation

The remains found had symmetrical injuries on both the arms and legs, which indicated to experts that someone had deliberately inflicted them on the young man. After a longer period of research into the customs of the time, the archaeologists came to the conclusion that the man apparently underwent the so-called breaking the wheel, a method of execution or torture used by medieval Europeans.

First, the bones of the accused’s limbs, sometimes even the torso, were broken. His body was then “woven” into the lawnmower and secured with a rope. Then they inflicted further injuries on him, with a knife or hot iron objects, and subsequently exposed his body and surroundings somewhere on a high pole or building for all to see. Sometimes the person in question died after hours and hours of such torture, sometimes they had mercy on him and after some time they “arrived” him by execution by beheading, which was also the case of the young man from Milan.

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Unfortunately for him, this was not a painless affair either. The trauma that archaeologists discovered on his skull shows that the master executioner probably “cut himself” and performed the execution, which was supposed to be a merciful release from unimaginable pain, clumsily to say the least.

An innocent freak

The young man’s death was horrifying, but in the Middle Ages, criminals simply did not cuddle. After all, you can read about the different methods of torture at that time, for example, in this article.

The scariest thing about the whole story, however, is that the young man was probably innocent. Archaeologists discovered his body in an archaeological site near the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio in Milan, Italy, and although elsewhere in Europe it was customary to round up the most heinous criminals of all, in the 13th and 14th centuries this region ended up with people who were said to that they spread the plague.

And that, to put it simply, was claimed about those who for some reason did not fit into society at the time. “His contemporaries probably singled him out as being somehow different, an oddball,” the experts said in a summary of their research, “and it is likely that this discrimination eventually led to his conviction. An angry crowd might label him as a plague spreader.”

However sad and disgusting the facts surrounding the case are, for archaeologists it is paradoxically a sensational find. This is apparently the first archaeological evidence of the use of this well-documented torture method, not only in Italy, but probably throughout Europe.

Journal of Archaeological Science, Medievalists, Vanilla.


The article is in Czech

Tags: Worst death Bike breakin botched execution man apparently innocent

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