The remains of around 40 soldiers were discovered during archaeological digs in Wijtschate (Eastern Flanders), archaeologist and head of research Simon Verdegem revealed on Friday. Thanks to a crowdfunding project, an international team of archaeologists has been able to explore more than a hectare of land in Wijtschate before a new building is constructed. The site is interesting because around a third has not been built on for more than a hundred years.
The first bones were dug up a few years ago. Archaeologists expected to find the remains of around 30 soldiers. “But we’ve already found over 40. We could find even more over the next few weeks”, says Simon Verdegem.
The team has found the remains and personal belongings of French soldiers from the beginning of the First World War, along with the bones of German soldiers from the entire war period. They have also found British soldiers who died around 1917-1918.
“We have only scratched the surface. Deeper digs would let us learn more about the different phases of the war”, says Simon Verdegem.