Toerisme Ieper

Thousands of medieval skeletons found at Ieper dig

Thousands of skeletons dating from the Middle Ages have been discovered during archaeological excavations in the centre of Ieper (West Flanders). Modifications are being made to the flow of the River Leet by the St Martin’s Cathedral that today runs under the ground.  Archaeologists believe some 5,000 skeletons including those of babies and small children are to be found here.

The River Leet is currently the subject of a major archaeological investigation.  Archaeologists have already discovered the foundations of a large 13th century building.  In recent days they have been focusing on the cemetery of the former St Martin’s Cathedral. 

Scientists are struggling to provide a precise date for the skeletons.  Archaeologist Olivier Van Remoorter: “In the Christian tradition of the Middle Ages it was not customary to include anything in the grave.  People were buried as they came into the world.  The Romans would add a little pot or some coins.  That helps archaeologists to date the find, but here that isn’t the case.”

Excavations at the Vandepeereboom Square have revealed a medieval quay.  When ships were able to sail on the River Leet vessels unloaded freight on the quayside.  Archaeologists believe more finds are still to be made.

Toerisme Ieper
Toerisme Ieper

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