National Geographic is somewhat late in reporting the discovery of a major necropolis (back in September) at Himera, which includes a number of mass graves of soldiers and infants. The soldiers are believed to have fallen in the first Battle of Himera in 480 B.C..

Stefano Vassallo dixit:

"It's probably the largest Greek necropolis in Sicily,"

"The remains of Himera's buildings had been known and studied for a long time, and we knew there should be some graves. We didn't expect so many graves"

"Each [mass grave] contains from 15 to 25 skeletons. They were all young healthy men and they all died a violent death. Some of the skeletons have broken skulls and in some cases we found the tips of the arrows that killed them,"

"Greeks and Carthaginians fought a bloody battle in the plain under the town walls, right on the burial ground," Vassallo said. "People from Himera won."

"All the people were slaughtered or deported and the colony never rose again,"

"Infant mortality was very high at the times. We found the tiny skeletons placed inside funerary amphorae, like in a womb, alongside small terracotta vases called guttus, with spouts like present-day feeding bottles."

"People from Himera were very tall, about 175 centimeters [69 inches]. Unusual for the times."

Ancient Mass Graves of Soldiers, Babies, Found in Italy (NG)

PHOTOS: Ancient Mass Graves, ''Baby Bottles'' Discovered (NG)

We had some previous coverage on this last month from ANSA.