Skeletons found in Sillamäe conceal important information

A burial site discovered in the center of the eastern Estonian town of Sillamäe at the beginning of June can provide important information about the living conditions and health of early-modern (16th to 18th centuries-ed.) people in Estonia.

The human remains were discovered during the reconstruction of Sillamäe's main street. About a dozen skeletons have now been found, and archaeologists are now excavating the burial site and documenting the skeletons. The findings will later be studied at the University of Tartu, says "Aktuaalne kaamera", ETV's news show.

According to archaeologist Martin Malve, the site may be an early modern cemetery. 

"I would suggest that local people were buried because we find men, women, and children. But we also have a double burial, where two men are buried in the one grave; it is possible that this was the result of plague, for example," Malve commented. 

Malve said he wants to know how these people lived and who they were. He is also interested in their health, and what diseases they may have had. "Our goal is to make these skeletons 'talk' as much as possible," Malve said.


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Editor: Katriin Eikin Sein

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