ZAGREB, 17 February (Hina/CW) – During archaeological excavations at the site of a mediaeval cemetery near St. Francis’ Church in Šibenik, archaeologists have unearthed more than 600 skulls.
The archaeological exploration of the area started after some artefacts were discovered during construction works for the Šibenik Agglomeration project.
Archaeologist Slavko Galiot said on Monday that there were many similar cemeteries across Dalmatia, however, this was a record high number of skulls found at one site.
“Although there are many similar cemeteries in Dalmatian cities, I must say that we have never encountered such a large number of skeletons and skulls,” said archaeologist Slavko Galiot.
The experts included in the exploration say that of the 600 remains, 200 skeletons belonged to children.
“The bones are very dilapidated and there were very few complete skeletons. Some tombs are better preserved, so we sent the skeletons found in one of them for anthropological analysis to determine the complete picture of that tomb. These skeletons also contained clothing, ie several poorly preserved pieces of clothing, then metal objects such as buckles, hooks and clasps, and there were also ornaments, bracelets, several gilded banners that were probably worn by younger people, rings, seals and the like,” Galiot told Šibenik.in.
The church near the cemetery was built in the third decade of the 14th century and the last burials in this cemetery took place in 1827.
Priests and nobles, the richer social class of the then Šibenik, were buried in the churches, and with the disappearance of the place in the church, new graves were dug in the yard and near the church. Judging by the found remains and jewellery, these were well-to-do citizens of Šibenik, the archaeologist concluded.