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Mass grave with 1000 skeletons found in Germany

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Mass grave with 1000 skeletons found in Germany

Archaeologists say they have discovered what may be the largest mass grave ever excavated in Europe at a site in southern Germany.

Roughly 1,000 skeletons of plague victims have so far been found in mass graves in the center of the city of Nuremberg, which experts believe may contain a total of more than 1,500 people, according to a press release published Tuesday.

Mass grave with 1000 skeletons found in Germany

The remains were discovered during an archaeological survey prior to the construction of new residential buildings in the city.

Melanie Langbein, from Nuremberg’s department for heritage conservation, told CNN that eight plague pits were identified, each containing several hundred bodies.

“Those people were not interred in a regular cemetery although we have designated plague cemeteries in Nuremberg,” said Langbein.

“This means a large number of dead people who needed to be buried in a short time frame without regard to Christian burial practices,” she said.

Mass grave with 1000 skeletons found in Germany

Because of this, an epidemic such as the plague is “more than likely” the explanation for the mass graves, according to Langbein.

Julian Decker, whose company In Terra Veritas is carrying out the excavation, told CNN he was surprised by the discovery.

“There was no indication to assume that there were burials on this field,” he said, adding that when the first remains were discovered he thought they could have been from World War II bombing raids.