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Six skulls in grave reveal brutal lives of clashing clans

Extra headroom: Grave had two skeletons and six skulls

ARCHAEOLOGISTS are working to unravel the mystery of two 15th century skeletons found in a grave that contained six skulls.

The find was made at Tarbat Old Parish Church in Portmahomack in the Highlands, thought to be the site of a bloody clash between Clan Ross and Clan Mackay which ended with survivors hiding in the church and being burnt to death in it.

The men in the grave were both in their 40s. One of them died from brutal sword injuries that removed the bottom half of his face. The second had injuries from a blade as well as blunt force.

Remains: A computer visualisation shows injuries PICTURES: SWNS

Dr Cecily Spall, director of York-based Fieldwork Archaeological Services, said her team will use advances in DNA analysis to see where the men were from, when they died and if they were related. They have also had a reconstruction made of one face.

‘This warrior class could go out and fight for a wage,’ she said. ‘What we want to understand is the experience of these men. That’s why we are so excited.’