Portugal - Routine Excavation Of Prison Garbage Dump Unearths Skeletal Remains Of 12 Jewish Victims Of Inquisition
Portugal - A routine excavation of what once was the garbage dump for a prison in Évora has unearthed the unceremoniously scattered skeletal remains of 12 Jewish victims of the Inquisition.
FORBES.com (http://onforb.es/1hmfsnA) reports that a group of University of Coimbra archaeologists—-who published their findings in the most recent issue of the journal of Anthropological Archaeology—-said that, while there are no existing prison records indicating who may have been buried at the location, there are records indicating that “dozens” of people found guilty of practicing Judaism are listed in the Évora Inquisition Court jail logs.
According to the archaeologists, architectural plans from the period (1568-1634) show that the plot of land located behind the prison was typically used as a dump for the jail’s garbage, and that, through testing, “the sediment surrounding the skeletons is indistinguishable from the household waste layer where they were placed, suggesting that the bodies were deposited directly in the dump.”
In addition, archaeologists said that the random, haphazard positioning of the bodies—-some face-up, some face-down, some side-to-side—-is in line with period practices of simply “tossing” the bodies of condemned heretics into the ground for the purpose of “not only punishing their body, but mostly to weaken and destroy their soul.”
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