During the construction of a highway in south-east Poland, they found an old children’s cemetery. More than 100 bodies were buried in it. More than 70% of the remains found were children. All bodies agreed on something, they put a coin in their mouths.
Details on the discovery of the children’s cemetery in Poland
The discovery occurred near the Polish city of Jezowe in the Carpathian province. Archaeologists who have worked on the site expect the discovered children’s cemetery to date from the 16th and 17th centuries. It is said to date from the period between 1580 and 1630.
The amazing thing is that all bodies had a coin in their mouth. It is a customer-specific representative of the beliefs of that time. A coin was placed in old corpse rituals before Christianity to pay the boatswain.
A pagan custom that was implemented in a Catholic cemetery
This custom continued in Christian times, so that the boatswain’s name, Charon, had his obolus to cross the Acheron River. Charon was responsible for transporting the deceased from the land of the living to paradise reserved for the dead.
The tradition of placing coins on the bodies of children and adults was used well into the 19th century. It is the time of the completion of the papacy of Pius IX. This profane custom dates from ancient Rome, and Greek texts that speak about it have also been found.
Although it was a pagan ritual, archaeologists found that it was a Christian Catholic cemetery. According to the inhabitants of the place, it was known as the mountains of the church. Many of them even had objections to the road that led through the town, so as not to go through the old children’s cemetery.
Details of the coins used in the ritual
The analysis of the coins found in the remains dates from the reign of Sigismund III Vasa. He was King of Poland between 1587 and 1632. However, other coins date from the reign of John II Casimir, king between 1648 and 1668.
The remains of a body with a coin in its mouth were found in every grave, but no other objects such as buttons or coffin handles were found. According to the archaeologists who examined the remains, this means that it was an extremely poor community cemetery.
According to documents at the time, there was a church with a school and a cemetery. This happened around 1600, according to the documented document. This indicates that it had been there since before this year. There is currently a lush forest in the area.
Due to the arrangement in which the remains were found, it was a well-kept cemetery with a good distribution of the graves. They were all little graves because it was for children.
One of the graves caught the attention of archaeologists the most. Four children were found in it. The bodies lay side by side and were connected by the feet. One of them was small, suggesting that he died at a very young age. The archaeologists concluded that they were most likely brothers.