Child found buried with animals in af­ter­math of an­cient bat­tle in Silves

Timeless Travels Magazine - - ARCHAEOLOG­ICAL NEWS -


remains of a child buried for cen­turies un­der the his­tor­i­cal town of Silves in Por­tu­gal have fi­nally been re­vealed by archaeolog­ists.

The find is un­usual because the child ap­pears to have been ‘dumped’ in a pit, along with the remains of sev­eral animals in­clud­ing a horse, a sheep or goat, a cat and a bird. The child’s skele­ton was underneath the horse and other animals.

Archaeolog­ists have dated the remains back to the 13th cen­tury Almóada pe­riod when Mus­lim rule over Silves was com­ing to an end and there was fierce fight­ing be­tween Chris­tians and the Moors who had been liv­ing in Silves.

Al­though the finds are still be­ing in­ves­ti­gated, re­searchers think that the weapons in the pit sug­gest that the child’s death was col­lat­eral dam­age of the vi­o­lence dur­ing the re­con­quest of Silves and that no care was taken with bury­ing the body. Smashed pot­tery and an arrow underneath the child’s head all sug­gest that the death oc­curred dur­ing a cat­a­strophic sce­nario.

Archaeolog­ists now sus­pect that the arrow was lodged in the child’s mus­cle but don’t know if this in­jury was fa­tal. They explained: “It be­came clear that the child was not buried. The child was face down and had one of their hands underneath their body. Thus some­body threw the child into the pit with all the other animals and ob­jects we found.”

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