Ancient Brits kept the bones of their loved ones and turned them into ornaments to remember them, according to new research.
Britons during the bronze age even created instruments with the remains.
Research found the remains buried with the dead, which suggests the ornaments were kept for future generations, reports The Guardian.
“This is the first evidence we have for an established bronze age tradition of curating human remains for substantial lengths of time, over several generations,” said Thomas Booth, who carbon-dated the remains at the University of Bristol.
“It’s indicative of a broader mindset where the line between the living and the dead was more blurred than it is today,” he said.
“There wasn’t a mindset that human remains go in the ground and you forget about them. They were always present among the living.”
Although this tradition may seem gruesome, it may be an earlier form of traditions still seen today, such as keeping the ashes of loved-ones in an urn.
Bronze Age Britain lasted for about 1,700 years, from c. 2500 until c. 800 BC.
Archaeologists found the bones or ornaments of the bodies found with the dead were buried about two generations after their death.
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They also discovered a man buried near Stonehenge in Wiltshire with a whistle made out of a human thigh bone.
At Windmill Fields, Stockton-on-Tees, a woman's body was found buried with skulls and limb bones from three different people who died approximately 60 to 170 years before her.
Prof Joanna Bruck said: "Our study indicates that bronze age people were accustomed to handling the bones of the dead, even in their day-to-day lives.
“Bones belonging to significant ancestors were curated as relics, and even made into artefacts, some of which may have been used or displayed in the homes of the living.”
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