By Mark Prigg For Dailymail.com
Published: 22:58 GMT, 1 February 2019 | Updated: 23:15 GMT, 1 February 2019
Celts in the Iron Age rubbed oil into the heads of their victims after cutting them off to stop them rotting, it has been revealed.
Ancient writings often mention the beheadings, with the severed skulls kept as trophies - but until now, researchers had not known how they were preserved.
The new study of over 100 fragmented human skulls were found buried in a French town found plant oils were key to the embalming efforts.
Some of the skull fragments used in the study. Over 100 fragmented human skulls were found buried in a French town found plant oils were key to the embalming efforts.
After killing an enemy, the head was decapitated
The brain and tongue were then removed
Head were then dipped in cedar oil or a local pinacea oil
Finally, they were displayed outside a home, with the weapon that killed them
Pinaceae oil was applied several times during the lifetime of the heads display to continue to preserve it
Researchers believe the heads were put on display to mark the 'bravery and strength of the community and of its warriors.'
'Ancient texts described that one of the most impressive ritual practices of the Celts during the Iron Age was to remove the heads of enemies killed in battle and