Archaeologists working on a 16th-century hospital in Mexico have discovered several human remains including pregnant women, their unborn children and at least one man who met a violent death.
Archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) have been accompanying restoration works on the Hospital of San Roque in the Mexican city of Puebla to convert it into the Museum of Talavera and Popular Art of Puebla.
They have found nine skeletons and scattered bones that correspond to pregnant women, their unborn children and one man who died of head trauma, as reported in an INAH press release on Sunday, 23rd January, obtained by Newsflash.
Inside the building, whose construction history dates back to the 16th century, the team of experts has recovered evidence of at least nine complete human skeletons and several scattered bone fragments.
Some of the remains were deposited in what the experts believe was a mass grave.
The skull of one particular skeleton, corresponding to a 40- to 45-year-old male, shows two injuries in the central region of the frontal bone, indicating death from head trauma.
Among the skeletal remains are two pregnant women and their unborn babies, with the experts believing that abortions took place inside the building, and the deceased were thrown into a mass grave.
The San Roque Hospital was established to serve the Spanish who came to the New World. However, the team of experts have noted that while many of the human remains date back to the colonial period, some may date back to just the 20th century.
Signs of human remains were first noted by the archaeologists in 2020, and the experts have since noted that none of the victims received a Christian burial.
The remains were found throughout the building, including under the floors of patios and rooms, behind staircases and under column bases.
The experts believe that one of the victims may have drowned in a river flood.
The hospital remained in operation until the last century and then lay abandoned for a while.
The archaeological project began on 13th December is expected to last until July. The human remains will be closely analysed and dated by the experts, who have also uncovered several ceramic remains, which will be restored.
Archaeologist Elvia Sanchez was quoted in the press release as saying: “We are really working in the bowels of the site, and what we have found is a sad story on a human level, because of the way in which many of these bodies were thrown into the graves without a legal warrant and without a so-called Christian burial.”
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Story By: William McGee, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
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