Remains of Jewish victims of Portuguese Inquisition found in ancient garbage heap

Although not as well known, the Portuguese version of the Inquisition was very similar to Spain's.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
August 19, 2015 16:08
1 minute read.
Inquisition

Remains of Jewish victims of Portuguese Inquisition found in ancient garbage heap. (photo credit: BRUNO MAGALHAES)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

A routine excavation in Evora, Portugal, led to quite an unexpected find for archaeologists after a dozen bodies were uncovered along with evidence that suggested they had been "unceremoniously dumped outside the Inquisition Court along with regular garbage," according to Forbes.

With the help of the structural plans of the building they were able to infer that the bodies were found in what was either the cleaning yard or trash dump of the jail associated with the Inquisition Court. They were also able to narrow down the time frame of the usage of the yard to between 1568-1634.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


In a recent issue of the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, archaeologists write that "the sediment surrounding the skeletons is indistinguishable from the household waste layer where they were placed, suggesting that the bodies were deposited directly in the dump," leading excavators to believe those buried at the site were considered heretics within Portuguese society.

Although not as well known, the Portuguese version of the Inquisition was very similar to Spain's.

The Portuguese capitulated to pressure from Spain and eventually launched their own inquisition in 1536 that echoed both the method and reasoning of the Spanish.

The Roman Catholic Church's attempts at ensuring the population maintained the purity of the faith as well as the basic Catholic ethos led to a witch-hunt of perceived heretics within Portugal.

By using the prisons records as a template, researchers believe that the skeletal remains found at the excavation site were those of individuals secretly practicing Judaism.








Related Content

Dubi Haiyun in front of the President's residence, July 19, 2018
July 21, 2018
Anger in Jewish world grows over detention of Conservative rabbi

By JEREMY SHARON