The mass grave in Vianen, which was discovered during excavation work a week ago, contains the bones of at least 44 individuals from the late Middle Ages. Because a large part of the grave has not yet been released, this number could possibly rise towards the hundred, the municipality of Vijfheerenlanden reports Tuesday.
A week ago, the municipality announced that at least twenty human skeletons had been found during excavation work on the city moat. The archaeologists already assumed that there might be many more bones to be found.
Now the archaeologists of the archaeological research agency De Sample test can state with certainty that it concerns a mass grave from the late Middle Ages to several hundred years ago. The bones discovered so far may have belonged to teenagers and young adults. A closer examination of the skeletons should reveal whether this is indeed the case.
“The skeletons are now being transferred to a depot. There, a random check will be used to determine which ones will be further examined,” said Alderman Christa Hendriksen.
The excavations will continue until at least the end of this year. The municipality hopes to be able to provide more clarity about the origin of the mass grave in the course of 2021.
The site of the skeletons is in or near the former Batestein castle site, which was built around 1730. After a fire in 1696 it fell into disrepair.
Work on the new part of the city canal has been halted for the time being.