More than 500 years ago, the body of a medieval soldier found a grave at the bottom of a Lithuanian lake and remained buried under the mud for centuries. This month, the remains were found during an underwater survey of the old Dubingiai Bridge on Lake Asveja in eastern Lithuania.
Scientists at Vilnius University in Vilnius examined the body and reported that the remains belonged to a man who died in the 16th century, the cause of death is still being specified. Weapons and other artifacts found nearby indicate the military status of the deceased. According to archaeologists, excavations of medieval war graves have already been carried out in this region, but in Lithuania this is the first case of a soldier of those times under water.
Dubingiai Bridge is one of the longest wooden bridges in Lithuania, which are still in operation. It was built in 1934 and its dilapidated supports are being replaced with metal ones. During the examination of the support system of the bridge by divers at a depth of 9 meters, the remains were found. By the way, a previous survey in 1998 showed that another bridge stood in the same place in the 16th-17th centuries - at about the same time when the unknown soldier died.
To the delight of scientists, the skeleton and its belongings are surprisingly well preserved. The divers found a pair of leather boots with spurs, a leather belt with a buckle, an iron sword and two knives with wooden handles. Now a team of archaeologists, anthropologists and historians from the National Museum of Lithuania is studying the finds and making an inventory of them. Within a year, they hope to reveal the story of the death of an unnamed medieval warrior.