Video: Some 200 skeletons found around Delft church
Archaeologists so far found about 200 skeletons around the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft during excavations that form part of the expansion of the crypt of the Oranjes, Omroep West reports.
The researchers are now at a depth of 1.5 meters. "In the meantime, about 150 actual graves wee found. In addition, we also found bones in so-called 'charnel pits', where there are often about four to five people together," archaeologist Michael Bot said to Omroep West. "So we're at about 200 people now."
This research adds a new chapter to the story of the church, city archaeologist Steven Jongma said to the broadcaster. "In particular, we're discovering a difference between the people who were buried here and the people who we previously found under the square." In the Middle ages, Markt square was a cemetery were poorer Delft residents were buried. The rich got a place in the church near the altar or the mausoleum, he said.
"Outside the people were in cheaper coffins, they were buried closer together. In short, less luxurious. You really see a difference in that." There is also a difference in the condition of the skeletons. The rich died at an older age and lived healthier lives.
The researchers will try to identify the remains as much as possible. There should be details of those buried near the altar or mausoleum in the church's archives. But for those buried outside, it will be more of a challenge. The archaeologists hope that an extensive DNA study will help link names to the remains.