Dozens of skeletons might lie beneath the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, according to archaeologists who have dug up a medieval mass grave near the renowned museum.
Exposed during work to build an elevator in an area designed to house an expanded section of the Uffizi's exhibit space, the skeletons belong to more than 60 individuals of various ages and genders who probably succumbed to a devastating epidemic.
"It appears they all died at the same time. Multiple graves contain up to 10 bodies, certainly buried in a hurry. Within the graves we also found some coins, all dating between the end of the 4th and the beginning of the 5th century A.D.," Carlotta Cianferoni, director of Florence's National Archaeological Museum, told Discovery News.
Photos: Construction Reveals Dozens of Skeletons in Florence
"The coins provide a rather accurate temporal reference, but of course we need to wait the results of the anthropological analysis and radiocarbon dating," Cianferoni said.
According to the archaeologists, who have worked at the site for the past five months, the position and the way the bodies were laid in the graves indicate an emergency situation.