Genetic analysis of human skeletal remains in Norwich, England, found by construction workers preparing the site for a shopping center has provided serious evidence that the bones are those of at least 17 Ashkenazi Jews who were murdered during a proven historic episode of antisemitic violence on February 6, 1190.
The genomes from a medieval mass burial show that Ashkenazi-associated hereditary diseases pre-date the 12th century. The findings resulted from a revised radiocarbon analysis of the bones carried out by experts at London’s Natural History Museum, University College and Francis Crick Institute; the Institute of Organismic and Molecular Evolution in Mainz, Germany; the University of Cambridge; and the Archive Center in Norwich.
They have just been published in the journal Current Biology under the title “Genomes from a medieval mass burial show Ashkenazi-associated hereditary diseases pre-date the 12th century.”
In 2004, construction workers excavating land in central Norwich – about 160 kilometers northeast of London – as part of the Chapelfield shopping center development uncovered the bones.
The position of the remains, their completeness and their conversion by archaeologists into a cleaned and articulated skeleton suggested that they had all been buried in a single event shortly after their death.