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2,500-year-old convicts’ cemetery discovered in Greece

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A burial place for convicts dating back to the 7 th - 5 th century BC was discovered in Athens, Greece. The convicts were buried with their hands chained behind their backs, with fractured and broken bones. It seems that those people were convicted for serious crimes to be found in such a condition.

According to Mrs Stella Crysoulaki, chief of the archaeologists responsible for the excavations, some of the skeletons were found with both hands and feet chained together and while some of the injuries were present before death, some of the damage occurred after death. In a few of the skeletons the feet were cut off at the level of the shin and joints were also severely damaged. It became apparent that these individuals suffered a tortuous death that crushed the body while they were alive.

So far about 264 bodies have been uncovered, including children. The children apart from pathological conditions were also found to have had a lack of nutrients. The excavations took place at a level of half to 1.2 meters above sea level, which was the level of the area during archaic times. The excavation area spans about 3,000 square meters.

This is the second time in Greece that such a cemetery has been found, with the last one being in 1915. The punishment for the criminals was mentioned in a few theatrical places of Aristophanes and Plutarch as a ‘death on the board’.

Unfortunately humanity has not progressed very far since then.

By John Black

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