March 2, 2015

Bodies, bodies, everywhere!

Filed under: Bodies, Cemeteries, bodies everywhere! — acagle @ 8:09 pm

Including next to Richard: Mystery Woman Buried Near Richard III

Archaeologists found a lead coffin buried in the ruins of an English medieval church, just feet from the grave of British King Richard III. When they opened the tomb, they expected to find the skeleton of a knight or a friar. But instead, they found the bones of an elderly woman.

The woman’s identity remains a mystery, but a study of her bones has revealed some key details about her life, the excavators announced today (March 1). She was interred sometime in the late 13th or 14th century, before Richard was hastily buried at the monastery known as Grey Friars in Leicester, England. She must have been of a high status, because her bones show signs of a lifetime of eating well.

The “eating well” is apparently determined due to a lack of indicators on the skeleton showing periods of malnutrition such as porotic hyperostosis. Otherwise, I’ll take their word that a friary is an odd place to find a bunch of women buried.

December 10, 2014

Bodies, bodies, everywhere!

Filed under: Bodies, Rome, bodies everywhere! — acagle @ 8:31 pm

Shackled skeletons discovered in ancient Roman burial ground in France

In what experts believe to be an important necropolis possibly used for those killed in the stadium, hundreds of graves dating back to the first and second centuries AD were unearthed.

But perhaps the most interesting finds were five shackled skeletons – four adults and one child. Three skeletons had their ankles bound with iron chains, another was secured around the neck, and a child was found with a chain around his or her wrist.

One might think these sorts of things would be more common (I don’t remember seeing one like this before), but then again items were more valuable in the past and unless things were specifically used for grave goods (offerings or whatever), they’d probably be stripped from the body before burial.

November 24, 2014

Bodies, bodies, everywhere!

Filed under: Bodies, Conservation/CRM, bodies everywhere! — acagle @ 8:19 pm

21 anyway: Warriors, double burials, grave goods, Bronze Age barrow and Roman floor found in Suffolk

A double burial and a “warrior burial” with a large spearhead and dagger were among 21 skeletons found at a Saxon site with a medieval field system, say archaeologists who uncovered the 7th century remains ahead of a property development in Suffolk.

The bodies, whose bones were protected by the local geology, included a “bed burial” with iron nails and eyelets, suggesting a wooden structure or incomplete bed beneath the body.

They have a nice little slide show with a lot of photos but not much in the way of explanation. They don’t explain the double burial either. That’s too bad.

I note that the archaeologists are all wearing high visibility clothing. Ugh. I hope we never come to that.

September 25, 2014

Bodies, bodies Body everywhere! here!

Filed under: Bodies, bodies everywhere! — acagle @ 7:31 pm

Ancient bog body found in Meath to be carbon dated

Experts from the National Museum of Ireland plan to radiocarbon date an ancient bog body found at a Midlands bog today. It is the second one to be found at the midlands bog in two years.
The partial remains, comprising of adult leg and foot bones and flesh, were discovered by Bord Na Móna workers at Rossan Bog close to the Westmeath border in Co Meath on Saturday.
Once the find was made, a Bord Na Móna worker initiated company protocol and called gardai to examine the scene. Work was stopped and the National Museum of Ireland was notified.

Couple of years old — the find — but I missed it the first time around.

More here

June 24, 2014

Bodies, bodies everywhere

Filed under: Bodies, bodies everywhere! — acagle @ 7:34 pm

Well, 10 at least: Boot-wearing high-status Saxon with rickets among 10 skeletons found in Lincoln

A high-status Saxon suffering from severe rickets in his legs who was wrapped in linen and reburied in a church wall could undergo DNA tests alongside a stabbed teenager as part of the £22 million refurbishment of the medieval Lincoln Castle.

Found in a limestone sarcophagus, the powerful Saxon – described as holding “national significance” by archaeologists – was a former rickets sufferer in his early 20s who died wearing his boots.

Rickets and at least one stab wound. They don’t say much about the relation of the burials to one another although one gathers from the article that they think they’re related in some way? Hard to tell.

Kind of a bummer for the big dude, a prominent person now referred to as a “Boot-wearing high-status Saxon with rickets”.

February 13, 2014

Bodies, bodies, everywhere!

Filed under: Bodies, Cemeteries, bodies everywhere! — acagle @ 7:54 pm

Nice photo essay of burials in Florence. They were buried quickly but not necessarily haphazardly in groups. They think it was probably plague victims because of the groupings and lack of obvious pathologies.

February 11, 2014

Bodies, bodies, everywhere!

Filed under: Bodies, Cemeteries, bodies everywhere! — acagle @ 8:27 pm

Graves’ discovery affects Miss. medical school’s plans

Future progress for the state’s longtime medical school has collided with the ghosts of Mississippi’s past — the discovery of a 1,000 bodies buried on its campus and the likelihood of more.

Officials of the fast-growing University of Mississippi Medical Center had planned to build a parking garage east of the dental school, where a grove of trees now sits.

But testing in the area revealed 1,000 bodies, believed to have been patients at the Mississippi State Lunatic Asylum a century ago.

It’s a pretty good article and worth reading through. The key thing is that there are so many bodies, they can’t really afford to move them all, unlike many smaller family cemeteries that are found during development. So the land is probably going to stay the way it is for the foreseeable future.

December 16, 2013

Bodies, bodies, bodies

Filed under: Bodies, Cemeteries, Public Health, bodies everywhere! — acagle @ 11:59 am

The Thousand-year Graveyard

On a hot afternoon in July 2012, Giuseppe Vercellotti was digging up bones near the wall of an abandoned medieval church here, thinking about getting a cold drink, when he heard his students call his name. Faces glistening with sweat, they told him that they had found something strange buried half a meter down. Vercellotti took a look and saw a layer of lime, used in ancient times to squelch the stench of rotting corpses. When he tapped the hard layer with his trowel, it sounded hollow.

“We immediately thought it was a mass grave,” says Vercellotti, a biological anthropologist at Ohio State University, Columbus, who co-leads a field school here. “We instructors were all excited and hopeful.”

That goes to Science and it’s a decently long article with more than just cholera. Plus videos! Definitely worth clicking through to.

December 2, 2013

More bodies. . . .

Filed under: Bodies, bodies everywhere! — acagle @ 7:41 pm

Archaeologists find more bodies at Durham University site

Durham University archaeologists have found the remains of many more human bodies at a dig on the City’s World Heritage Site, providing clear evidence of a centuries-old mass grave.

The number of bodies found has risen from four to 18.

Experts first thought they had uncovered remains of Durham Cathedral’s medieval cemetery, whose boundaries may have extended further than the present day burial site.

They think, based on the jumbled positions of the bodies, that they were dumped.

August 20, 2013

Bodies, bodies everywhere

Filed under: Bodies, bodies everywhere! — acagle @ 7:22 pm

Sent in by reader Eric: Oldest ‘Bog Body’ Found with Skin Intact

The team conducted computed tomography (CT) scans of the body after the dig, and found that the young man’s arm and spine had been broken multiple times, seemingly from sharp blows before his death.

The researchers also found cuts along the man’s back that looked like ax wounds. They uncovered axes capable of producing such wounds within the vicinity of the site.

Given this evidence of brutality, the team concluded that the young man had been killed in a ritual sacrifice, a practice commonly known in later eras, but not well documented in the Early Bronze Age of 2000 B.C., about the time this bog body would’ve lived.

“All the indications are that the human remains from Cashel Bog tell of the fate of a young king who, through folly or misadventure, was deemed to have failed to appease the goddess on whose benevolence his people depended, and who paid the ultimate price,” Kelly wrote.

Seems like a bit of speculation on the last quoted bit. Still, odd how most of ‘em seem to be violently killed, and vehemently so.

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