search
Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

archaeology
subscribe
Special Introductory Offer!

Napoleonic War Graves Exhumed in Austria

Friday, June 8, 2018

DEUTSCH-WAGRAM, AUSTRIA—According to a Live Science report, archaeological investigations ahead of highway construction through the area where the Battle of Wagram was fought on July 5 and 6, 1809, have uncovered mass graves of Austrian and Napoleonic troops. “We are in the hotspot of the battle,” said Alexander Stagl of Novetus, a cultural resources firm conducting rescue excavations at the site. Many of the soldiers were buried fully clothed, leaving behind their uniform buttons in the graves. Archaeologist Slawomir Konik said the research team may eventually be able to identify a French officer whose buttons were recovered. Anthropological study of the bones has detected scurvy, a condition caused by vitamin C deficiency; inflammation of the joints from carrying heavy loads over long marches; pneumonia and other respiratory diseases; and “a lot of impressive trauma,” said Michaela Binder of the Austrian Archaeological Institute. “These were the men that bore the brunt of the battles…55,000 people dead in two days—that’s hard to imagine,” she added. For more on excavations of soldiers who took part in the Napoleonic Wars, go to “The Grand Army Diet.”

Advertisement

Advertisement


Advertisement