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Mystery of the skeleton hijacked by Nazis and Soviets

For decades, archaeologists have grappled with the identity of a 10th-Century skeleton discovered at Prague Castle, and the remains were exploited by both the Nazis and Soviets for ideological purposes.
But attempts to pin a clear ethnic label on a 1,000-year-old corpse perhaps reveal more about us than him.
He lies, his head angled to the left, his right hand resting on an iron sword. By his left hand are a pair of knives, the skeletal fingers reaching out almost as if to touch them.
By his elbow are what could have been a razor as well as a fire-steel - a medieval firelighter that was as much a status symbol as anything else.
At his feet are the remains of a small wooden bucket - similar to those used as ceremonial drinking vessels by the Vikings - and an iron axe-head.
But it is the warrior's sword that catches the eye. Just under a metre long, it is still a thing of power and beauty despite 10 centuries of corrosion.

Was he a Viking?

"The sword is of good quality, probably made in Western Europe," said Prof Jan Frolik, a medieval archaeologist at the Czech Academy of Sciences.
This type of sword was used by Vikings in Northern Europe, modern-day Germany, England and Central Europe, and by others too.
"So most of his equipment is Viking or at least Viking-like. But his nationality is a question," he added.
It's a question that has intrigued and confounded historians ever since the warrior skeleton was unearthed at Prague Castle by Ukrainian archaeologist Ivan Borkovsky in 1928.

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