WARNING! GRAPHIC IMAGES: The remains of three bodies belonging to victims judged to be around 19-20 years old were found by the Search and Identification Bureau of the Institute of National Remembrance.
Archaeologists closed in on a 20-square-metre site in a cemetery in the small town of Orneta by using local archival records and a hand-drawn burial plan. Religious objects including crucifixes and medallions helped them identify the victims.
The 75 victims buried today, which include three infants, were discovered during archaeological work carried out earlier this year by a special section of Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance.
Professor Marta Osypińska, a zooarchaeologist from the Polish Academy of Sciences, described the find as ‘unique’, saying: “Until now, no one has found Indian monkeys at archaeological sites in Africa. Interestingly, even ancient written sources don’t mention this practice.”
Among the remains researchers from the POMOST Historical and Archaeological Research Laboratory discovered weapons, tools, soldiers’ dog tags and medals identifying them as a paratrooper unit attached to Hitler’s Luftwaffe.
The skeletons with coins dating back to the reign of kings Sigismund III Vasa and John II Casimir were discovered in an area in southeast Poland known as the Church Mountains (Góry Kościelne) and confirm local legends of a children’s graveyard.
The six were found in a “house of the dead” and cast new light on ancient burial rituals.
The new project by researchers at the University of Łódź will see the remains of 200 people digitised and put online.