”The bars are iron, the walls are stone…”

All materials that ends up in our laboratories are interesting in one way or another. And such is the case for the relatively young material from Sala Silvergruva. From here we received three prisoners of war dated to four centuries ago. 400 years is a relatively young age in ancient DNA, and Sweden is a relatively cold area. Thus, it is likely that they are well preserved and full of DNA. Well, comparatively full of DNA, in an ancient way.

POWs from Sala will not tell us much about any major global event. But they do have their own interesting story to tell. Where were they from? This was a time when the different parts of Europe were at war with one another all the time. How did they end up in a Swedish silver-mine? Being a prisoner is likely never a good thing, and especially not a prisoner of war centuries before the Geneva convention. There is one tragedy behind each of these individuals, and together with Ylva Backström and Linus Girdland Flink we hope to be able to tell their stories.

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