Dozens of skeletons found near Arnhem church; maybe from 15th century graveyard

Eusebius church in Arnhem
Eusebius church in Arnhem. (Photo: Marjoleinkuipers / Wikimedia Commons)

Construction workers found 45 skeletons during excavation work next to the Eeusebius church in the heart of Arnhem. A cemetery connected to the Minnebroeders monastery, dating from 1487, is believed to be located in the area, according to archeologists. The monastery itself has never been found, NOS reports.

According to archeologists, these 45 skeletons are just the "tip of the iceberg". So far a skeleton was found per square meter excavated. Another 400 meters must still be dug up. 

The archeologists are pretty sure that the skeletons come from the 16th or 17th century. But there is also a chance that they may be part of a 15th century cemetery believed to have been located in the area. The cemetery belonged to the Minnebroeders monastery from 1487, though the monastery has not yet been found. 

The bones will all be examined, paying specific attention to growth and traces of diseases and parasites. This helps create an image of how Arnhem residents lived in the past. 

The excavation is part of a project to bring the Sint Jans stream back to the surface in the city. The stream was partly submerged in the 19th century because the water was polluted and stank. 

Archeologists are investigating all findings as the work continues. This has to be done quickly, as to not cause too many delays. According to NOS, in practice this means that archeologists first carefully look at were remains are located, then remove and collect them for further study. 

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