Picture Credits: CEN/Dariusz de Lorm
A mass grave filled with fallen soldiers from the Seven Years’ War who died on the battlefield 260 years ago has been found by archaeologists.
The Battle of Kunersdorf occurred on 12th August 1759 between Frederick the Great’s Prussia and the allied force of Russia and Austria.
Picture Credits: CEN/Grzegorz Podruczny
The mass grave was discovered in the village of Kunowice in the western Polish region of Lubusz Voivodeship.
Over 100,000 soldiers fought in the decisive battle, which saw an Allied army commanded by Pyotr Saltykov and Ernst Gideon von Laudon, that included 41,000 Russians and 18,500 Austrians, defeat Frederick II’s army of 50,900 Prussians.
Picture Credit: CEN
According to reports, over 15,000 soldiers died in the battle.
Grzegorz Podruczny of the Adam Mickiewicz University said: “We have been investigating the battlefield since 2007. Three years later, we came across the remains of the first victim.
“At first, we thought that two or three people would be buried there. Now we estimate that about 15 soldiers were buried in the grave.
“Due to the poor condition of the remains and grave site, it is difficult to clearly determine the number of soldiers assembled there”.
Boffins also found 292 uniform buttons, mostly belonging to Prussian soldiers, as well as coins and other items.
Gold ducats, a trading coin used in Europe until the 20th century, were found near the pelvis of one of the soldiers, suggesting that the serviceman may have swallowed them prior to dying.
Meanwhile, a silver coin was found under an Austrian soldier’s arm, possibly meaning that he sewed it into his uniform to avoid detection.
Researchers claim that the mass grave is significant because it is rare to find one so old.
During the Seven Years’ War (1756 to 1763), the village of Kunowice was occupied by Russian forces after the Prussian defeat at the Battle of Kay in 1759.
The war was largely a struggle between Austria allied with Russia and France fighting against Prussia allied with England.
Many battles took place in the Polish areas of Lower Silesia, Opole and Lubusz Land.