Ancient Mass Graves of Soldiers, Babies, Found in Italy
More than 10,000 graves containing ancient amphorae, "baby bottles," and the bodies of soldiers who fought the Carthaginians were found near the ancient Greek colony of Himera, in Italy, archaeologists announced recently.
"It's probably the largest Greek necropolis in Sicily," said Stefano Vassallo, the lead archaeologist of the team that made the discoveries, in September.
The ancient burial ground was uncovered during the construction of a railway extension.
"The remains of Himera's buildings had been known and studied for a long time, and we knew there should be some graves. We didn't expect so many graves", said Vassallo, who works for the Italian province of Palermo's government.
"Each [mass grave] contains from 15 to 25 skeletons. They were all young healthy men and they all died a violent death. Some of the skeletons have broken skulls and in some cases we found the tips of the arrows that killed them," Vassallo said.
He thinks the human remains are from soldiers who died fighting the Carthaginians in a famous 480 B.C. battle described by Greek historian Herodotus of Halicarnassus.