Sunday, September 05, 2010

Archaeologists find 13th century burial site in Estonia

Ongoing archeological excavations in the late medieval church yard of Valjala, an old settlement on the island of Saaremaa off the western Estonian mainland, have revealed 15 graves from the mid 13th century.

Five people were originally buried in limestone coffins but fragments of wood, some of it resembling birch bark, still await exploration and, according to the local newspaper Saarte Hääl, they give reason to believe that at least one child had been buried in a wooden coffin.

The height of one of the men was at least 180 centimeters and he had a remarkably sturdy bone structure, which contributes to the hypothesis based on historical records that Saaremaa's population in general was significantly taller than other Europeans in the 12th and 13th centuries.

Click here to read this article from Estonia Public Broadcasting