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Carolingian-era mass grave discovered in France

Archaeologists from the Institut de Recherches Archéologiques Préventives in France have discovered a mass grave containing the bodies of between twenty and thirty people.

Carolingian-era mass grave discovered in France
The remains of men, women and children thrown into a well
during the Carolingian era [© Captair, 2013]
The discovery was made during the course of a five-month dig of a Gallo-Romano site at the town of Entrains-sur-Nohain in Burgundy, forges, which also revealed a stretch of Roman road, a series of stone houses  and baths.

The archaeologists were excavating one of two wells on the site when they chanved upon the remains of dozens of skeletons at a depth of about four metres.

The bodies of between 20 and 30 individuals, which included men, women and children, appear to have been dumped into the well at the same time. Carbon 14 dating revealed that the remains are from the eighth to tenth centuries AD.

Carolingian-era mass grave discovered in France
3D model of the mass grave [© Captair 2013]
The archaeologists believe that the remains may be those of the civilian inhabitants of this area who were massacred, possibly during the war of succession waged by the three sons of Louis the Pious: The Battle of Fontenoy-en-Puisaye, which took place in 841, was fought only about 25 kilometres from Entrains-sur-Nohain.

It is also possible that the inhabitants were massacred by Viking raiders who invaded in this area during the mid-ninth century. Another possibility is that these people were victims of an epidemic.

A paleo-pathological study will be conducted to determine how these people died.

Source: Inrap [December 18, 2013]
TANN

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