French officers and soldiers were held captive in the castle at the beginning of the 19th century. Are the remains from that time?
Archaeologists excavating below the west tower of Castell Bellver have uncovered the remains of two people who they suspect may have been buried there during the Spanish war of independence (1807 – 1814).
There is also some thought that the bodies may have been buried early during the Napoleonic wars. At that time, the Castell de Bellver served temporarily as a prison for French officers and soldiers who were defeated in 1808 in the Battle of Bailén (Andalusia). The officers are said to have left the castle alive.
Described as completely unexpected, the discovery earlier this month came after a couple of months of painstaking work. What makes the skeletons real interesting is not only how old they might be, but the manner in which they are laid out – on their backs with legs stretched out and arms crossed over their hips and chest.
At this stage it is not known how they might’ve died, with more work needed to exhume and carbon date the skeletons. Once that process is complete scientists will have a better idea of when and how they might’ve died.
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