Polish archaeologists discover medieval graves in Sicily

The over 800-year-old burial sites were discovered by Polish archaeologists during excavations next to the medieval church of San Michele del Golfo near Palermo in Sicily.

According to scientists, they could belong to the Normans, descendants of the Vikings.

“Judging by the shape of some of the graves, some of those buried in the cemetery were undoubtedly from the social elite or the clergy,” the leader of the excavations, Professor Sławomir Moździoch from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology in Wrocław, told PAP.

Polish archeologists have discovered ten graves so far this year, including those of three women and two children. Some evidence suggests that the skeletons belonged to Normans from northern France. "According to the local anthropologist, the tallness and strong build of the skeletons are proof of such an origin," Moździoch explained.

Excavations were also carried out inside the ruins of the medieval church. "The western-European shape of the church, its architecture and the collection of coins minted in Champagne or Lucca that were found there, show that the church was likely built and used by immigrants from Normandy and from the northern part of the Italian Peninsula," Moździoch added.