04 October 2006

Czech it out!

The discovery of the remains of a medieval Jewish cemetery in Pilsen, Czech Republic, was reported today by JTA.

Researchers from the West Bohemian Institute for Heritage Conservation and Documentation said they found city archival documents revealing details of what they believe was one of the largest 15th-century Jewish cemeteries in the region.

Although the burial ground was known to exist, an Institute archeologist said the new documents reveal additional details, and that excavations could provide more information about the cemetery and the Jewish community.

The Prague Monitor provided more details in its September 30 story.

The land for the cemetery was bought by Jews in 1432, and 40 years later, the land was taken from the Jews, who were then expelled in 1504, said Institute archeologist Radek Siroky.

He stressed the importance of medieval Jewish cemeteries in that Jewish burial grounds are usually well-conserved, unlike Christian graves.

For more on Pilsen:

Pilsen's Great Synagogue, built in 1892, is believed to be the second largest in Europe, and the Old Pilsen Synagogue was built in 1859.

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