Soldaten von 1799/1800: Massengräber aus Zürich und Schaffhausen
[Soldiers from 1799/1800: mass graves from Zürich and Schaffhausen]
Bulletin der Schweizerischen Gesellschaft für Anthropologie 12(1): 2334 (2006)
In 1799/1800 several battles were fought in Zürich and Schaffhausen (Switzerland) between the French and the Austrian respectively the French and the Russian armies. Between 1921 and 1976 eight mass graves attributed to these battles were excavated in Zürich and the surrounding area. All skeletal remains from these mass graves were examined for a diploma thesis (Cooper 2003). Another mass grave was excavated in Schaffhausen in 2002 and examined in 2004. Apart from the anthropological and palaeopathological data collection special attention was paid to forensic aspects with regard to the historical background of the series. All examined individuals are male. Their ages at death are roughly between 20 and 40 years. Body heights range from 162 cm to 176 cm. No individual shows evidence of severe disease. However, dental health is very bad and the frequency of Schmorls impressions is noticeable. Lesions due to the use of weapons are present on almost all individuals. Sharp violence injuries are by far the most frequent type, followed by several gunshot wounds and other injuries. Altogether there is evidence for gun battles from greater distance, close combats and in some cases the purposeful killing of wounded or defenceless soldiers.