London: Archaeologists have unearthed the skeletons of three children and nine men from the grounds of Sweden’s Kalmar Castle and found the bones are up to 500 years old.
Two of the skeletons were preserved in coffins, while the others were buried in soil beneath the wall of Kalmar Castle, which is more than 800 years old and is one of southern Sweden’s most famous historical sites. Magnus Stibeus, a spokesperson from the Swedish History Museum, which led the excavation project, said that the discovery was made in March this year while two archaeologists were searching the area, which had been made available to them as repairs took place on the castle’s walls.
“We think we have found twelve people. At least two are children – around two or three years old – and one we think is 12 years old. We think the rest of them are men. We don’t know if they are from Kalmar or somewhere else – maybe Denmark – so we will be trying to find out,” Stibeus said. He said it remained a mystery how the people had died, but added that they could be castle staff who became sick in the late 1400s or early 1500s.
At the time the people dug up this spring are understood to have died, Sweden and Denmark were still part of the Kalmar Union, a state that brought together the two Scandinavian nations along with Norway, but formally split up in 1523 when Gustav Vasa became King of Sweden.