Discovered in 1935 and first excavated in 1973, the ancient city of La Hoya in the north of the Basque Country was destroyed in a violent attack between 350 and 200 BC.
The city was never reoccupied, and those who died in the attack remained where they had fallen until the city was searched.
Hoping to learn more about the attack, researchers from the University of Oxford and a team of archaeologists from the UK and Spain studied 13 skeletons already recovered from the site, during the first detailed analysis of human remains.
Men, women and children were among the dead. “A man suffered multiple frontal injuries, which suggests he was facing his attacker,” said Teresa Fernández-Crespo, lead researcher, adding: “This individual was beheaded but the skull was not found and may have been taken as a trophy. “