Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dead Jews found down a well

BBC reports that 17 bodies found at the bottom of a medieval well are likely Jewish victims of persecution. 

The most likely explanation is that those down the well were Jewish and were probably murdered or forced to commit suicide, according to scientists who used a combination of DNA analysis, carbon dating and bone chemical studies in their investigation.
The skeletons date back to the 12th or 13th Centuries at a time when Jewish people were facing persecution throughout Europe.
The article describes the source of anti-Jewish sentiment well:

Jewish people had been invited to England by the King to lend money because at the time, the Christian interpretation of the bible did not allow Christians to lend money and charge interest. It was regarded as a sin.
So cash finance for big projects came from the Jewish community and some became very wealthy - which in turn, caused friction.
Interesting article, especially for someone with interest in both Jewish and medieval history, but I am amused that their evidence for these being Jewish corpses seems to be, "Of course they're Jewish! I mean, who else would you stuff down a well?"

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