Home Science Archaeology news: Remains of 500 guillotine victims found in chapel walls

Archaeology news: Remains of 500 guillotine victims found in chapel walls

Archaeologists have discovered bones littered throughout the walls of Paris’s Chapelle Expiatoire, a classified monument near the Grands Boulevards. Aymeric Peniguet de Stoutz, the chapel’s administrator, began analysing the building when he noticed oddities in the walls of the building. After discovering what he perceived to be fragments of bones, Mr de Stoutz called in the archaeologists who discovered a plethora of remains belonging to around 500 people.

The remains were discovered as the team of archaeologists fed small cameras through the cracks of the walls to make the startling find.

The archaeologists believe the remains were placed in the walls during the French Revolution.

According to the team the victims, most likely aristocrats, were placed in the walls were placed in there following their decapitation at the blade of the guillotine.

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If the theory does prove to be true, it would go against King Louis XVIII’s orders that no bones be removed from the ground.

In a letter, the King wrote that “no earth saturated with victims [of the revolution] be moved from the place for the building of the work”.

The Chapelle Expiatoire was not completed until 15 years after the French Revolution ended, so the timing coincides with the closure of the Madeleine cemetery in 1794, which had ran out of space.

This would suggest some of the bodies were moved from the ground and placed in the walls of the ancient monument.

According to Archaeology.org: “When archaeologist Philippe Charlier inserted a camera through stones in those walls, he spotted four wood and leather ossuaries, human bones, and earth.

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