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17th-century Jewish slum found in Amsterdam

Dutch archaeologists unearthed what they said was the remnants of a Jewish 17th-century slum in the center of the Dutch capital.

The discovery of the slum on Valkenburger Street, north of the Portuguese Synagogue in the eastern part of the center of Amsterdam, was made earlier this month by a construction crew digging a foundation for a hotel and housing complex that are planned to be built on what used to be a slum.

“People who lived here were so poor that they had no infrastructure,” said Jerzy Gawronski, a municipal archaeologist whom the construction crew called upon after unearthing a matrix of narrow pathways, not broader than three feet across.

Bordering on the Jewish quarter of Amsterdam, the slum was inhabited by hundreds of people living in squalor and extremely crowded conditions, he told AT5, a local television station.

— JTA

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