Archaeology has uncovered many heartbreaking and tragic discoveries throughout history. Some of the saddest discoveries include:
- The victims of Pompeii One of the most tragic and well-known archaeological findings is the destiny of the people who lived in Pompeii and were murdered by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in the year AD 79. This event is known as the Pompeii victims. Archaeologists have discovered the preserved corpses of people who were suddenly murdered by volcanic ash and gas, including youngsters, women with their newborns, and even pets. Among the victims were people of all ages, from infants to adults.
- The Baby Burials at Ashkelon: In 2016, researchers uncovered a cemetery in the ancient city of Ashkelon in Israel that included the bones of more than one hundred newborns. The cemetery was known as the “Baby Burials at Ashkelon.” The infants were thought to have been born alive, but after being murdered, they were buried in the same location as where they were found. It is not known why this was done, although it is believed that it was connected to the practice of sacrificing children that were common in ancient societies.
- The Remains of World War II Concentration Camps Archaeologists have unearthed the ruins of concentration camps all throughout Europe where millions of innocent people were imprisoned, tortured, and slaughtered during World War II. These facilities were known as “concentration camps.” The sheer magnitude of the crimes that were done at these camps is mind-boggling, and the relics that remain as a reminder of the misery that occurred there are heartbreaking.
- Children of the Roanoke Colony who Were Left Behind The Roanoke Colony was an unsuccessful English settlement that was established in what is now the state of North Carolina in the late 16th century. After returning after a journey to gather supplies, a party of English colonists discovered that the village had been totally abandoned, with the exception of a post that had the word “Croatoan” carved into it. Since then, archaeologists have unearthed evidence that some of the colonists had assimilated with the local Native American community, including children whose English parents had abandoned them. This includes children who had been adopted by Native Americans.
- The Killing Fields and Mass Graves of Cambodia Under the rule of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia in the 1970s, more than 1.7 million people were executed and buried in mass graves around the country. The bones of men, women, and children who were systematically killed by the dictatorship have been found in many of these sites, which have been discovered by archaeologists. Several of these graves have been unearthed. The magnitude of the crimes that were done during this time period is nearly incomprehensible, and the finding of these mass graves is a jarring reminder of the unspeakable depravity that may result from war and genocide.
These discoveries serve as a reminder of the darker aspects of human history and the atrocities that have been committed throughout the ages.
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