Terrifying discovery during the construction of the water supply in Plaňany: Children’s graves!

Why did the graves of four children and one adult end up behind the cemetery wall? It was apparently not intentional. “In the graves lay children of preschool age, that is, already too old to be non-babies,” says archaeologist Zdeněk Beneš from the Institute of Archaeological Monument Care in Central Bohemia. In the past, in addition to unbaptized babies, criminals and suicides were also buried outside the cemetery. But even that is out of the question for children.

It is much more likely that the wall of the nearby cemetery moved after the so-called Josephine reforms. Emperor Joseph II in 1784 he ordered to stop burying in the centers of the villages and ordered that new huts be established further away from human settlements. The cemeteries around the churches thus ceased to be used and gradually became smaller. And since the graves of poorer people were only marked with a wooden cross, which rotted over time, everyone probably forgot where the children were buried.

The hundreds of years old skeletons, according to archaeologists’ estimates, may date from the period between the 13th and 17th centuries. However, closer dating is problematic. “Unfortunately, we did not find any artifacts with them that would help with a closer determination of the time,” explains Zdeněk Beneš. The skeletons thus remain largely a shrouded mystery, at least for now.

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