Mass Graves Of Victims Of Plague And Famine From The 14th And 15th Centuries Were Discovered In Bohemia

Archaeologists in Central Bohemia have discovered 30 mass graves with over 1,500 skeletons dating from the 14th and 15th centuries. They are probably victims of the plague and famine. According to the researcher, it is the largest discovery of its kind in Central Europe.

The town of Kutná Hora in Central Bohemia, about 65 km from Prague, was discovered. Thirty mass graves dating back to the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries have been found. The tombs are 2 meters wide and 2.5 meters deep, and each of them contains 50-70 burials, over 1500 skeletons in total.

According to archaeologists, the discovery is extremely valuable because it represents a collection of the remains of people who died in a short time. – This is the largest group of medieval mass graves in Central Europe and most likely in the whole of Europe. We must realize that such a mass grave represents a sample of the population in a very short time. – said Jan Frolik, archaeologist at the Prague Archaeological Institute (Archeologický ústav AV ČR, Praha), which is in charge of the excavations.

According to archaeologists, these are the graves of people who fell victim to the famine in 1318 and the plague epidemic in 1348-1350. These places were not unmarked because the older skeletons were damaged during the burials of the victims, and later chapels and mortuaries were built. Mass globes were located to the north, west and east of the chapel.

The town of Kutná Hora is famous for its ossuary, the so-called Of the Skull Chapel (in the Sedlec morgue). It contains the remains of approx. 40-70 thousand. victims of the plague epidemic in the mid-fourteenth century, the Hussite wars in the fifteenth century and the Thirty Years’ War in the seventeenth century.

The skulls and bones of the deceased were used as construction material to create almost the entire interior of the building, including chapels, altars, chandeliers, the family coat of arms of the Dukes Schwarzenberg and the “signature” of František Rint, the designer of the Chapel. Currently, the Ossuary in Kutnohia does not fulfill any sacred functions and is treated as a tourist attraction.

Bones and skulls in the chapel in Kutna Hora

Archaeologists expect to find even more burials.

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