Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A Quick Trip to Poland: Sedlec Skull Church

During this quick trip to Poland, I wanted to stop and the famous skull church.  To my delight, in addition to the normal array of bones-decorating-scared-ground, there was a once-in-a-lifetime archaeological excavation happening as well.  I *might* have made friends with the lead archeologist and convinced him to give me a 1200 year old finger bone for *educational* purposes.  His name is Peter (the archeologist, not the finger bone). There are at least 6 layers of graveyards stacked on top of each other under the foundation and around the foundation of the skull church, which was discovered when they went to dig to install ventilation to try to control humidity (and therefore reduce bones molding and the monumental task of keeping them clean).  The bodies were killed both in armed conflict and waves of illness that resulted in large death tolls and inadequate space for interment, hence the mass burials in stacks over time.  

Each number is a bone bit

Miscellaneous bits that are too hard to sort because of all the stacking.

My bone bit came from this bucket, but I didn't pick it.  

Stacking, done both at different times and the same time, depending on the particular bodies that are in this configuration 6 layers deep and extending out in a rectangle to the side and back of the chapel. 

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