A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

Special Introductory Offer!

Remains of Teutonic Knights Identified

Friday, March 15, 2013

TeutonicMastersWARSAW, POLAND—Polish archaeologists have identified the remains of three grand masters of the Teutonic Knights, a medieval religious and military order that ruled much of the Baltic coast in the late Middle Ages. The skeletons were discovered in 2007 in a crypt underneath a cathedral in the Polish town of Kwidzyn. "Anthropological and DNA testing has enabled us to back up the theory that these are the remains of the grand masters," says project archaeologist Bogumil Wisniewski. "We can be 96 percent certain." The three men, Werner von Orseln, Ludolf Koenig, and Heinrich von Plauen, led the Teutonic order at the height of its power, from 1324 to 1413. To see images of the excavation and artifacts recovered from the crypt, visit Wisniewski's website (in Polish).