An image of the wall of bones beneath the Cathedral. Image Credit: Ruben Willaert.

Archaeologist Stunned by “Walls of Human Bones” Beneath Cathedral

"We have never seen structures, like walls, which are intentionally built with human bones," researchers revealed.


Archeologists working on Saint-Bavo’s Cathedral have been stunned by what their excavations have revealed; a wall that is entirely made of human bones and skulls.

As revealed by The Brussels Times, archaeologists have revealed that the discovery made beneath the Cathedral is unique.


“The walls consist only of bones from the lower limbs. At the moment we are still examining which idea caused this. Is it only a practical thing (piling up bones in a very compact way) or is there also a religious/spiritual dimension?” the scientists revealed.

A spokesperson for the archaeological team has revealed that the walls is mostly made of thigh and shin bones of adults. However, the spaces in between have been filled with human skulls.

In addition to that, the archaeologists have explained that they’ve also recovered full human skeletons as well.

The archeological excavations were carried out as part of the preparation of the construction of a new visitor center at the cathedral. However, the bones and human skeletons will not remain beneath the cathedral which means they will not become a tourist attraction.

The researchers have a plan to remove the human skeletons from the location for further studies. Reports suggest the bones will be held at the University of Ghent.


Janiek De Gryse, the project leader of the excavations has revealed to The Brussels Times that the bones will be preserved since people believed in a resurrection of the body, with the bones being the most crucial part of the architecture.

“We don’t have any comparison in Belgium,” de Gryse said. “We have never seen structures, like walls, which are intentionally built with human bones.”

As to the age of the bones, they are ancient but no older than the mid-15th century.

The exact reason why the wall exists, and why it was built of human skeletons and bones remained profound enigma experts are looking to solve as soon as possible.

The bones used in the construction of the walls are made of both adult men and women’s bones, although children’s bones seem to be absent from the walls.

Although such a discovery amy be unparalleled in Belgium and Europe, structures made of human bones were quite popular in other parts of the world.

The best example pf such is the terrifying human skull tower that the ancient Aztecs built, thousands of years ago in present-day Mexico.

An image of the skulls of the Tzompantli at Tenochtitlan. Image Credit: REUTERS / Henry Romero.
Image Credit: REUTERS / Henry Romero.

This structure is just one of the many that have been found in Mexico. The most notorious such structure was found by archaeologists beneath the heart of present-day Mexico city.

The skull tower is believed to form part of the Huey Tzompantli, a massive array of skulls that struck fear into the hearts of the Spanish conquistadores when they seized the city under the leadership of Hernan Cortes.

The skull tower built by the Aztecs is believed to have been erected with the bones of sacrificed victims.

The bones used in the construction of the wall beneath Saint-Bavo’s Cathedral were not of sacrificed victims.

Written by Justin Gurkinic

Hey, my name is Justin, and my friends call me Gurk. Why? Becuase of my last name. It sounds like a vegetable. Kind of. I love sleeping and writing. History is my thing.

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