Mass decapitation of Vikings or Saxons?
Archaeologists had finished excavations on the Ridgeway, ahead of the building of the Weymouth relief road, when skulls started appearing underneath a hedge being removed during embankment work.
The skulls of 51 young men have been found. They had been "hacked off" with swords and put in a pile next to their bodies.
Radiocarbon dating showed they were from between AD 890 and AD 1030, a time when there was considerable conflict between the resident Saxon population and invading Vikings.
The burial pit had been sited high on the Ridgeway Hill next to an old Roman road and on the parish boundary - a typical site for executions during the Saxon era.
The bodies and heads had been thrown into a disused Roman quarry after the executions, the walls of which can clearly be seen.
The archaeologists recorded every bone and fragment in the pit before taking them to their research facility in Oxford to be washed and analysed. They are trying to establish where the men were from.
Many of the skulls were cracked so when archaeologists moved them, some fell apart. Early indications also show there were more bodies than skulls - were some taken as trophies?
This skeleton of one of the young men found in the pit clearly shows where his collarbone was sliced through. He also had sword wounds to his vertebrae.
The jaw from the skull of one of the older men in the pit, in his mid 30s, shows how a sword cut through his jaw bone. It also shows he had cavities and gum disease.
Oxford Archaeology's excavation team worked on the chalk ridge while the construction of the relief road carried on around them.
Archaeologists excavated the pit underneath the bones, down to the floor of the Roman quarry and established it had been silted up before being used to bury the bodies.
Studies of the bones revealed the men all had strong, healthy teeth and were well built with strong upper bodies. Archaeologists think they could have been Vikings.