Plans for a massive skyscraper have been interrupted after archaeologists uncovered a mass grave, with bodies buried in circular holes.
Plans for a massive skyscraper have been interrupted after archaeologists uncovered a mass grave, with bodies buried in circular holes.

Thousands of bodies found in mass grave

An ancient and eerie mass grave has been uncovered in Japan, with archaeologists uncovering more than 1500 bodies squashed into circular holes.

The graveyard was found in the Japanese city of Osaka, however archaeologists have been painstakingly excavating the area since 1991.

The mass grave dates back to Japan's Edo period, stretching from the start of the 1600s to the mid-1800s.

Excavation of the ‘Umeda Grave’, one of the seven graves of Osaka. Picture: Osaka City Cultural Properties Association
Excavation of the ‘Umeda Grave’, one of the seven graves of Osaka. Picture: Osaka City Cultural Properties Association

 

In a statement, the City of Osaka said the Osaka City Board of Education and the Osaka City Cultural Heritage Association had been working on the Ofuka-cho ruins since September 1991.

The City of Osaka said it had uncovered more than 1500 burial bones including those of humans and animals.

"In addition to humans, animals are also buried in the cemetery, with more than four piglets in the northern part of the cemetery and two horses in the southern part. A cat bone contained in a skeleton has also been found," the council said.

"We were able to clarify the concrete appearance of the 'Umeda Tomb' that was run from Edo to the Meiji era.

"The 'Osaka Nana Grave' was an important part of knowing the development of the city Osaka and the faith of the common people.

"Most of the surveyed areas have already been backfilled, but we are still investigating the southwestern part of the cemetery."

Some of the bodies uncovered. Picture: Osaka City Cultural Properties Association
Some of the bodies uncovered. Picture: Osaka City Cultural Properties Association

 

The excavated remains, including human bones, are being sorted and analysed.

The Osaka gravesite is next to a major train station in the busy Japanese city and was uncovered during early construction work for a skyscraper.

The developers said plans for the building will likely go ahead, with the skyscraper being built on top of the burial ground.

The bones are already in the process of being moved and it's believed the bodies were likely those of poor people due to the lack of expensive goods in the graves.

The grave is in the middle of the city. Picture: Osaka City Cultural Properties Association
The grave is in the middle of the city. Picture: Osaka City Cultural Properties Association

 

 

Originally published as Thousands of bodies found in mass grave

The grave was found during plans for a skyscraper. Picture: Osaka City Cultural Properties Association
The grave was found during plans for a skyscraper. Picture: Osaka City Cultural Properties Association
Some pottery was found in the grave also. Picture: Osaka City Cultural Properties Association
Some pottery was found in the grave also. Picture: Osaka City Cultural Properties Association

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