14. Injuries Often Proved Fatal
Imagine that someone slings a mace at your head. You certainly get knocked out, and if you wake up, you have a massive headache. Don’t expect to wake up from such an injury, but if you do, you will probably have some severe brain damage. Skeletons that researchers have excavated reveal just how horrific and gory the wounds that people who died in battle actually were. One skeleton that was discovered near Stirling Castle showed repeated blows to the head that left 44 skull fractures, as well as upwards of 60 strikes across the rest of the body.
Those who did not die in battle but received wounds probably died shortly after that. Without modern medical care, they could bleed out over the following days and weeks or find their wounds festering with an infection. They were often left to die on the battlefield because the chances of survival were so low and the risk of spreading disease was high. The soldiers who were able to return home usually carried scars that would be visible for the rest of their lives. Battle scars became a symbol of prestige, as those who survived the wounds that they received certainly earned bragging rights.