So, I go with yeti favoured a head-shot, and only predated on lonely travellers high near the lake as the least-likely outcome.
Every archeology program made by the BBC says "ritual" so there's that. Maybe blunt force trauma from a long tibetan horn? Or blunt force trauma for playing the long tibetan horn?
Id imagine theres quite a few places on earth that would tick that box :) Semi-relatedly, theres a 4000 year old dolmen close to my house and lying beside it is a ~200 year old broken grave stone. Its' suspected that there was a mistake during carving of the gravestone and hypothesised the stonemason left it near the Dolmon as they attached some spiritual significance to the place, albeit without religious (catholic) significance.
Sometimes places just become the "something" place, even over long periods of time. This could be the "dump the bodies" place.
If your cat ever dies, it might worth the experiment to bury it there...
Reporting notes that normally when you find a lot of bodies you’ve found a graveyard, but this site seems different enough from normal to warrant a second look.
Otzi wasn't overly crushed.
I imagine it'd depend on the glacier, but yeah.
> While archaeobotanist Klaus Oeggl of the University of Innsbruck agrees that the natural process described probably caused the body to move from the ridge that includes the stone formation, he pointed out that the paper provided no compelling evidence to demonstrate that the scattered stones constituted a burial platform
My understanding is that ante mortem and post mortem fractures can be distinguished by bone marrow oedema. Presumably, if the post is an extremely long period and there's no bone marrow present, then there would be other substantially different fracture patterns.
According to article, the skeletons had compression fractures, consistent with blunt-force injury (as by hailstorm), and analysis of the skulls is planned for the next study.
I'd rule out banditry, military action, natural geological or weather events, and poisoning first.
Even if the earlier set of skeletons were from several different dates or years, the possiblity that this was some sort of travel route and local sheltering spot, with as noted, hail-induced fatalities, seems plausible.
"The studies of the skeletons revealed a common cause of death: blows to the back of the head, caused by round objects falling from above. The researchers concluded that the victims had been caught in a sudden hailstorm, just as described in the local legends and songs."
If the area's geography and location makes it prone to violent hailstorms, I would think that those might simply be multiple hailstorms across the centuries.
Certainly I would personally keep an eye on the weather if I ever happen to visit.
It's really not surprising to find people from the eastern Mediterranean anywhere in Asia over the last thousand years. We know there was a Nestorian Christian community in China in the 13th Century and several of them had diplomatic roles under the Khanate.
See below, but that whole article is worth reading. Did you know there was an official Catholic Archbishop of Beijing in the 14th Century?
And Rome traded directly with China. Each empire was aware of the other. See Kyle Harper's The Fate of Rome for numerous consequences of this (particularly of disease and epidemiology).
Actually during time of first emperor in Asia, we've proof of European DNA present at the sites were terracotta army was made.
Secondly, if you go to north India - you find plenty of people with European features (mostly Greek features to be specific)
People knew about India and if they did come to India, it would have been impossible to not hear about Himalayas.
Edit: Seems like the trek has been put on hold for the time being.
There can't be that many roads / trails thought that area. So if they bottleneck at the point then perhaps the water from time to time goes bad? If some of them "lost it" (mentally) from the water then perhaps that explains the cracked skulls?
As for losing is (mentally) - mad honey was more of an issue back in history than today. So could see how some village feast/celebration/`ritual` may of played out with this given Nepal is noted in history as having issues with it and less than 30km from this site.
And gathering up large teams when you're the world's largest^WONLY civilisation, in the most fertile river valley the world has ever known, is somewhat easier than above 4200 metres.
It wouldn't have taken much doing to accumulate a few hundred corpses, mind. Though having them walk under their own power would be easier.
Also, and perhaps more importantly, the weight and difficulty of a body is a function of the number of people trying to carry it. One person carrying a single body might be a struggle.
But five, ten or twenty people? That wouldn't be a struggle.
That's an altitude at which most people have enough difficulty in dragging their own body. Let alone 100s of others.
Again: the the premise seems quite weak.
The mainstream hypothesis of pilgrims, or very possibly travellers or traders (carrying very light, very valuable goods?) getting caught out in severe weather seems far more probable.