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Archeologists discover centuries-old mass grave of horses

First of a kind

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

BORGHAREN - Archeologists have discovered a mass grave containing the remains of up to 50 horses in Borgharen, a village near the southern Dutch city of Maastricht. Research dated the bones to the 16th or 17th century.

It is the first time that a mass burial site with so many horses has been unearthed in Western Europe. It is thought that the animals may have perished in a battle during the Eighty Year War (1568 to 1648) or during the 1673 siege of Maastricht.

Archeologist Angela Simons, who coordinated the dig, said that the remains were stacked in a 40 metre long ditch. The site revealed a number of nearly complete skeletons as well as a number of horseshoes but have yet to find bridles or saddles. The find is the largest of its kind in Western Europe.