Archaeologists made an “incredibly rare” find Wednesday in Belgium when they uncovered the remains of soldiers and horses who died in the 1815 Battle of Waterloo.
The discovery was made by the team after resuming excavation of the Napoleonic battlefield for the first time since it was halted in 2019, the BBC reported.
“We won’t get any closer to the harsh reality of Waterloo than this,” said Professor Tony Pollard — one of the directors of the project.
“I’ve been a battlefield archaeologist for 20 years and have never seen anything like it.”
Napoleon Bonaparte — who ruled France from 1804 to 1814 — surrendered to British forces at Waterloo after being severely outnumbered.
The French defeat at Waterloo signaled the end of the Napoleonic Wars which had raged across Europe for nearly 23 years.
Though tens of thousands died in the fighting, historians said discoveries on the fabled battleground are rare because large numbers of bones were sold and ground down to be used as fertilizer on farms.
But in 2015, a human skeleton was uncovered during the building of a new museum and parking lot and in 2019, amputated human leg bones were unearthed in an excavation of the main allied field hospital, according to Newsweek.
The team plans to continue excavating the battlefield through July 15, 2022 in hopes of finding more discoveries.