Archaeologists In Germany Discovered A Mass Grave Containing The Remains Of Over 1,000 People Who Were Likely Bubonic Plague Victims

SCStock - - illustrative purposes only

Ahead of the construction of some retirement homes, archaeologists conducted excavations at a site in Nuremberg, Germany, and encountered possibly the largest mass grave ever to be found in Europe.

The grave contained the remains of over 1,000 people, who were most likely victims of the bubonic plague in the 17th century.

A team of archaeologists dug up skeletons belonging to men, women, and children. Their bones were turned green from a copper mill located nearby. Some of the skeletons were clothed. Alongside the bodies, the team discovered buckles, buttons, hooks, and coins.

At first, the researchers thought the bones were from victims of the bombing of Nuremberg in 1943. However, after radiocarbon dating, they learned that the remains were from a much earlier time period. They date back between the late 15th century and the early 17th century.

So far, around 1,000 skeletons from eight grave pits have been unearthed from the site. Experts believe that there are hundreds more people still buried there. Several signs point to the theory that the individuals had died of the bubonic plague.

For one, the bodies were buried in complete disarray. Per Christian tradition, the dead should be buried on their backs with their hands folded on their chests.

However, in this case, children were stuffed into empty spaces between adults, and skeletons were stacked on top of each other, suggesting that they were interred in a rush.

Ever since the mid-1300s, Nuremberg was affected by a plague roughly every 10 years, so the researchers had to figure out which plague was behind all the deaths of the people from this mass grave.

With the help of radiocarbon dating, the team was able to pinpoint a more specific time frame. The bodies had been buried between 1474 and 1638.

SCStock – – illustrative purposes only

Sign up for Chip Chick’s newsletter and get stories like this delivered to your inbox.

1 of 2