The Alkmaar Mass Graves

A multidisciplinary approach to war victims and gunshot trauma

Authored by: Rachel Schats , Lisette M. Kootker , Rob Hermsen , Gareth R. Davies , Menno L. P. Hoogland

The Routledge Handbook of the Bioarchaeology of Human Conflict

Print publication date:  November  2013
Online publication date:  December  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415842198
eBook ISBN: 9781315883366
Adobe ISBN: 9781134677979


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In 2010, excavations on the Paardenmarkt in Alkmaar revealed the presence of two mass graves in which victims of the Eighty Years' War siege of Alkmaar were interred. Various archaeological and historical studies into this important event in Dutch history have already been undertaken, however, no human remains that could be directly associated with the siege had been previously encountered. The present study of the human remains found at the Paarden-markt has the potential to provide a new perspective on the siege and add substantially to the current historical knowledge. This chapter presents the known historical data and demonstrates how the archaeological, osteological, forensic and isotopic studies of these skeletal remains and the associated trauma can contribute to a better and fuller understanding of this important historical event in Dutch history.

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