Archaeologists discover body of Iron Age warrior with arrowhead lodged in his spine

Arrowheads
(Image credit: iStock)

Archaeologists in Kazakhstan have made quite an unusual discovery: They've uncovered the remains of a Scythian warrior from the Iron Age, and his spine still contains a bronze arrowhead from an attack.

The team found the warrior's body in a burial mound at a site known as Koitas. The scientists believe the man was between 25 and 45 years old when he died, and the remains date to somewhere between the seventh and sixth centuries B.C.E.

The findings, described in The International Journal of Osteoarchaelogy, are especially impressive because the arrow didn't kill the man. The scientists found that one of the victim's vertebra had actually grown around the arrowhead, likely after the arrow's shaft was removed from his spine. Forbes notes that if the arrow had been made of lead, he wouldn't have been so lucky — even if he survived the impact, he would have died from lead poisoning.

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