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1,000-year-old church from Holy Roman Empire excavated in Germany

MEDIEVAL GRAVE

Microgen | Shutterstock

J-P Mauro - published on 06/30/21

The 10th-century church was built by Emperor Otto the Great and lasted until the Reformation.

Archaeologists working at a site in Germany have discovered a 1,000-year-old church from the Holy Roman Empire. The building, which was buried beneath a cornfield, is believed to have been commissioned by Emperor Otto I.

The remains of the church were discovered in May 2021 near the German town of Eisleben. According to Zenger, the rectangular structure measures about 30 meters by 20 meters.Additionally, the team unearthed a number of coins and a tiled stove from between the 14th and 15th centuries. The fragments of a church bell were also present.

The building was identified as a church dedicated to St. Radegund. The church was founded in 968, placing it firmly within the rule of Otto I. The team found further evidence that the emperor and his son visited the site. It is possible that Otto I was present for the inauguration.

The church served its congregation for about 500 years, but it was destroyed during the Protestant Reformation. Of the ruin, the team said in a statement: 

“This is a magnificent, exceptionally large church, which proves the importance of this location in the Ottoman era.” 

The archaeological dig also revealed a cemetery of 70 graves connected to the church. They believe these graves are those of the local aristocracy, as determined by valuables buried with the bodies. These items included bronze belt buckles, coins, knives, and ornamental jewlery.

The excavation is planned to continue until September. 

Read the full report at Zenger.

Tags:
Archaeology
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