The bone walls were discovered on the north side of Saint Bavo's Cathedral, formerly known as the Church of St. John the Baptist, or St. Jan. Radiocarbon dating of the bones suggests they date to the second half of the 15th century, but the walls were likely constructed later, in the 17th or early 18th centuries. Historical documents support these dates. One source notes that the church's cemetery was cleared during the first half of the 16th century and again, after 1784, when the cemetery stopped taking new bodies. No matter the date, these walls are a one-of-a-kind find, their is no comparison in Belgium.
The project will see the skeletal material examined to determine age, sex and stature and hopefully allow us to understand who the skeletons belonged to. The application of stable isotope analysis will potentially tell us about their diet and origins.
Copyright: Ruben Willaert NV