Archaeologists have discovered the skeletal remains of more than 200 people in a communal grave beneath a location of Monoprix, a French supermarket chain, in central Paris
According to the Telegraph, the archaeologists were originally called to conduct an inspection on the site before construction was to be carried out.
The site, a known cemetery, was expected to contain some remains, but researchers were shocked to find a “large collection of bodies neatly laid out in the earth of the store’s basement.”
From the 12th century to the 17th century, the site served as a hospital cemetery, though the remains were believed to have been moved to the Catacombs in Paris.
“We thought that there would be a few bones as it was the site of a cemetery but we didn't think we would find a communal grave,” said Pascal Roy, the director of the supermarket on Boulevard Sébastopol, told the Telegraph.
The archaeologists plan to carry out DNA testing to confirm suspicions that the cemetery contains the remains of hospital patients who died of plague or during a famine.