(ORDO NEWS) — Archaeologists have analyzed reports about the fate of the remains of those killed in the Battle of Waterloo and could not come to a definite conclusion. An article about this was published in the Journal of Conflict Archeology.
Tony Pollard, director of the Center for Battlefield Archeology at the University of Glasgow, has been investigating found descriptions of battlefields and drawings made by people who visited the country in the weeks following Napoleon’s defeat.
Among them are the letters and personal memoirs of the Scottish merchant James Ker, who lived in Brussels. He visited the field a few days after the battle and described people dying in his arms. In total, such reports describe the exact location of three mass graves containing up to 13 thousand bodies.
“At least three newspaper articles dating back to the 1820s talk about the importation of human bones from European battlefields to make fertilizer. Such fields could be a convenient source of bones that could be ground into bone meal, an effective form of fertilizer.
One of the main markets for this raw material was in the British Isles,” says the scientist. For these purposes, sales agents could come there. The locals were able to direct these agents to mass grave sites, as many of them had vivid memories of them.
However, to put an end to this issue, Professor Pollard and the Waterloo Uncovered Foundation plan to conduct large-scale excavations using all documentary evidence. They plan to dig up a significant part of the Waterloo field, find traces of ancient earthworks and find out the exact fate of the dead.
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