Archaeologists digging at a site in Evora, Portugal, discovered a dozen bodies they believe to be Jews who were persecuted by the Inquisition and “unceremoniously dumped outside the Inquisition Court along with regular garbage.”
Based on plans of the building in which the skeletons were discovered, the archaeologists say the area where they were found was a trash disposal site associated with the court of the Inquisition used from 1568-1634.
“The sediment surrounding the skeletons is indistinguishable from the household waste layer where they were placed, suggesting that the bodies were deposited directly in the dump,” the archaeologists said in an article published in a recent issue of the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, according to Forbes. This led them to believe that the people who were disposed of in this manner were considered heretics, and prison records indicate that they were Jewish.
“These are individuals who were left to rot in the religious court dump. In this way, the individuals from the Jail Cleaning Yard were not buried but discarded,” the authors said, according to Forbes. “The purpose for the improper treatment of the deceased was not only punishing their body but mostly to weaken and destroy their soul, due to their perceived religious deviations.”