Medieval Tomb Discovered Under Tartu Cathedral

Photo: Andres Tennus, University of Tartu
3/26/2013 10:54 AM

A brick-laid tomb dating back at least to the mid-16th century was found over the weekend at the Tartu Cathedral.

Archeologist Heiki Valk told Eesti Päevaleht that the tomb's position in the eastern section of the church indicates that someone related to the church, such as a high official, was interred there.

The fact that the tomb, which measures 0.8 by 2 meters, was hidden underneath the floor for centuries means it is well-preserved, Valk said.

However it is unlikely that any skeletal remains will be found, as the tomb appears to have been raided when the church was looted by the Russians during the Livonian War. That looting indicates that the tomb has been in place since before 1558.

Valk said that the find, while not the oldest in Estonia, is one of the rarest.

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