30 Medieval Mass Graves Discovered In The Czech Republic

Archaeologists have discovered 30 mass graves of victims of epidemics and famines from the 14th and 15th centuries during an investigation at a plot of the historic ossuary in Kutna Hora, Jan Frolik of the Institute of Archeology told reporters on Thursday.

The graves contain 1,500 skeletons, which is the record number in Bohemia since the Early Middle Ages, Frolik said.

In each of the mass graves, between 50 and 70 people were buried.

“We have to realize that such a mass grave represents a sample of a population in a very short period, which is extremely valuable to us. The 30 tombs, as far as I know, are the largest set in Europe, ”he said.

Mass graves flank the entire north side of the ossuary, and partially its west and east sides as well.”It can be expected that more mass graves will be found during the investigation of the interior,” he added.

The pits are square, with dimensions of 2x2m and 2.5 meters deep.

Experts associate the oldest with the famine of 1318 and the others with the plague epidemic between 1348-1350.

They were probably not marked on the exterior, otherwise the ancients would not have been damaged in the course of further burials and the construction of the ossuary and a chapel on the site later in the 14th century.

Frolik said that the discovered graves did not contain many objects. Buckles and coins of bronze and iron were part of his inventory.

The Kunta Hora ossuary is one of the most visited heritage sites in Central Bohemia, having undergone extensive reconstruction financed by the Sedlec parish with proceeds from ticket sales.

The works began in 2014 and are expected to last until 2024. Total costs are estimated at 55 million kroner and the ossuary will be open throughout the reconstruction period.

Source: Prague Daily Monitor

 

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