A firearms fatality from 14th century Denmark

N. Lynnerup, H. Mikkelsen, K. Poulsen, B. Frøhlich, H. Hjalgrim, J. Heinemeier


We present the case of the to our knownledge, earliest firearms fatality ever documented by skeletal remains. The facial skeleton was destroyed in a cranium recovered from a medieval parish graveyard in the city of Randers, Denmark, and a small cannon ball was found embedded in the soil matrix inside the cranial vault. The human remains have been radiocarbon dated to AD 1275 - AD 1375. Documentary sources first mention the use of firearms in Denmark in AD 1360, and skeletal evidence for firearms has until now been reported only on material from the 17th century.

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