Skeleton reveals violent life and death of medieval knight
A 620-year-old skeleton discovered under the floor of Stirling Castle has shed new light on the violent life of a medieval knight.
Archaeologists believe that bones found in an ancient chapel on the site are those of an English knight named Robert Morley who died in a tournament there in 1388.
Radio carbon dating has confirmed that the skeleton is from that period, and detailed analysis suggests that he was in his mid-20s, was heavily muscled and had suffered several serious wounds in earlier contests.
He appears to have survived for some time with a large arrowhead lodged in his chest, while the re-growth of bone around a dent in the front of his skull indicates that he had also recovered from a severe blow from an axe.
He eventually died when he was struck by a sword that sliced through his nose and jaw. His reconstructed skull also indicates that he was lying on the ground when the fatal blow was delivered.
The knight was laid to rest under the stone-flagged floor of a chapel near the castle's royal apartments and his skeleton was excavated along with 11 others in 1997.
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