Arab Today, arab today plagueera skeletons bring history back to life
Last Updated : GMT 21:38:38
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Dug up to make way for new railway line in London

Plague-era skeletons bring history back to life

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Plague-era skeletons bring history back to life

Human skull is pictured during excavation work at the Bedlam burial ground in London
London - Arab Today

London office workers are coming face-to-face with the history hidden beneath their feet, as 3,000 skeletons dating back to the 16th century are dug up to make way for a new railway line.
Between the glass and steel towers of the City of London financial district lies the Bedlam burial ground, the final resting place for thousands of people who died between 1569 and 1738.
As archaeologists carefully brush soil off the bones, bankers, lawyers and other professionals take time out from hitting deadlines and sealing deals to wonder about the area's past residents, who had to contend with plague, civil war and the Great Fire of London.
"I would have walked along this street so many times in years gone by -- walking on all this history," said Mark Bugeja, 48, who works at a management consultancy.
"There are probably a lot of sad stories about the people who were there. Probably a lot of them needn't have died by today's standards."
The Bedlam burial ground -- built on land bought from the nearby Bethlem psychiatric hospital, known as Bedlam -- was used as a graveyard for people who died during the Great Plague of London in 1665-66.
Londoners who could not afford a church burial, criminals and members of non-conformist religious movements were also buried there.
From 2018, the burial site will host the new ticket hall at Liverpool Street station for Crossrail, an east-west rail link scything its way across the city.
- 'A respectful process' -
Before construction starts, archaeologists have a couple of months to excavate the skeletons.
As well as piecing together a microcosm of old London, they also hope that DNA from people who died of outbreaks of plague can be tested by researchers for clues about how to fight the disease.
A register published on the Crossrail website featuring 5,000 of the 20,000 people buried at the site helps piece together who the dead were.
James Lawson, a sketch maker buried in 1584, is said to have "died of thys new disease", thought to be the plague.
It also mentions a string of mysterious conditions unrecognisable to doctors of today, reflecting the poor state of medical science at the time.
Richard Wyttor, a grocer buried in 1583, "died of a burning jaw", while servant Raulfe Langworthe "died of a thoughte" and was laid to rest in 1610.
While it is almost impossible to put names to skeletons, Nick Elsden, dig project manager for Museum of London Archaeology, said there were clues to their identities.
"The bones can tell us a lot about how they lived -- anything from fractures to if they have got bow legs from rickets to signs of syphilis like skull lesions," he said.
"You can tell from wear patterns in bones if they did manual labour -- you can tell how difficult their life was, or how easy."
Alison Telfer, an archaeologist coordinating the work for Museum of London Archaeology, said each skeleton looked "individual".
"It's a respectful process, you do become attached in some way," she added. "You feel you owe it to that person to look after them up to the point where they're reburied again."
- Layers of history -
The site's history does not stop at the 16th century -- below the roughly five metres of skeletons lie layers of older artefacts, some of which have already been uncovered.
These include an ice skate made of a cow's shin bone dating from the medieval period, when the area was marshland and used as a rink when it froze in winter.
In the next layer down, experts have found ancient Roman horseshoes, hairpins and burial urns from when the area was "Roman suburbia" lying just beyond city walls of Londinium, as the city was then known.
After being dug up, the Bedlam skeletons will be cleaned, dried, pieced together and examined.
They will eventually be reburied at a new site in Essex, east of London -- and the British capital's perpetual cycle of the past yielding to the future will roll on.
Source: AFP

 

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today plagueera skeletons bring history back to life Arab Today, arab today plagueera skeletons bring history back to life

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today US, Britain ban laptops on flights

GMT 07:36 2017 Wednesday ,22 March

US, Britain ban laptops on flights
Arab Today, arab today Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career

GMT 06:07 2017 Monday ,27 February

Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career
Arab Today, arab today Hezbollah commander killed by own men

GMT 07:43 2017 Wednesday ,22 March

Hezbollah commander killed by own men
Arab Today, arab today Tunisian media host praises her new experience

GMT 12:35 2017 Wednesday ,15 March

Tunisian media host praises her new experience
View News in Arabic - Culture: أخبار ثقافة
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Yemeni official warns education is under threat

GMT 12:03 2017 Tuesday ,14 March

Yemeni official warns education is under threat
Arab Today, arab today 2017 already marked

GMT 15:25 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

2017 already marked
Arab Today, arab today Prepares to give stargazers an eyeful

GMT 13:38 2017 Monday ,06 March

Prepares to give stargazers an eyeful
Arab Today, arab today Renault Trezor wins design award

GMT 11:56 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Renault Trezor wins design award
Arab Today, arab today Palestinian police wage war

GMT 07:53 2017 Friday ,17 March

Palestinian police wage war
Arab Today, arab today Dalia Mustafa believes in the presence of ghosts

GMT 07:39 2017 Monday ,20 March

Dalia Mustafa believes in the presence of ghosts
Arab Today, arab today Mexico threatens to ditch US corn imports

GMT 10:34 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Mexico threatens to ditch US corn imports

GMT 19:27 2017 Saturday ,11 March

Boualsof launches "Priestess Kahina" collection

GMT 16:41 2017 Monday ,20 March

Preserving the memory of glaciers

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 14:17 2017 Monday ,20 March

Cholesterol-slashing drug not impair brain

GMT 17:08 2017 Saturday ,18 March

Reveals secrets of tourism flights to space

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 15:42 2017 Saturday ,18 March

HTC U Play now available in KSA

GMT 22:39 2017 Thursday ,09 March

Zuhair Murad presents his new collection "Resorts"
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday