Universiteit Leiden

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Fieldwork campaign

The excavation of the Paardenmarkt Alkmaar

In June-August 2010 large scale excavations were executed on the cemetery belonging to the monastery, an area now termed the Paardenmarkt, by Hollandia Archeologen in cooperation with Leiden University. During the course of nine weeks, the students from the former minor Human Osteoarchaeology excavated and cleaned over 180 single coffin burials and 20 secondary inhumations. Interestingly, also two mass graves dating to the Siege of Alkmaar with 9 and 22 individuals were encountered. All the remains are housed in the Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University and are currently undergoing the osteological analysis.

Duration
2011  -   2011
Contact
Menno Hoogland

Historical background

In June-August 2010 large scale excavations were executed on the cemetery belonging to the monastery, an area now termed the Paardenmarkt, by Hollandia Archeologen in cooperation with Leiden University. During the course of nine weeks, the students from the former minor Human Osteoarchaeology excavated and cleaned over 180 single coffin burials and 20 secondary inhumations. Interestingly, also two mass graves dating to the Siege of Alkmaar with 9 and 22 individuals were encountered. All the remains are housed in the Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University and are currently undergoing the osteological analysis.

Osteological analysis

The osteological analysis of the human remains is currently performed in the Laboratory for Human Osteoarchaeology. Preliminary results indicate that males, females and children with various ages are buried in the cemetery. The results from the osteological analysis of the individuals in the mass graves has provided some interesting results. The individuals in the larger mass grave (22 individuals) were all young males, while the smaller mass grave contained older individuals, a child and a female. Based on these results it is hypothesised that the individuals in the larger mass grave are semi-professional soldiers and the ones in the smaller grave are civilian victims. For more information on the mass graves, please refer to the article by Schats et al. in Westerheem which will be published in the beginning of next year.

Fysisch antropologische analyse van de skeletten van de Paardenmarkt

More pictures of the excavation of the Paardenmarkt Alkmaar