Eighty or more shackled skeletal remains discovered near downtown Athens could have been the victims of a mass execution in ancient Greece, possibly during unrest in Athenian society when aristocrats battled each other for power, say archaeologists.
See also: 15 Greek islands you've never heard of
See also: Bronze Age warrior's skeleton discovered in Greece
Dr. Stella Chryssoulaki, head of excavations, says most of the victims were very young.
She said: "They have been buried with respect. We are not talking about people who had a difficult life, such as slaves, nor people who were unknown to those that buried them."
One leading theory says the victims were supporters of an Olympic champion who staged a failed coup in 632 BC and fled, but whose backers were killed.
Scientists say their mass grave was discovered in a large cemetery reserved for everyday residents of ordinary neighborhoods, not leaders or prominent figures.
Dr. Chryssoulaki added: "It's of particular interest in order for us to understand their daily life, the population, the state of public health, but also their views on death. You know, a cemetery is a first and last photograph in antiquity of those people that pass from life to death."