Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Wizard of Notts Recommends: 'Skeletons could be plague victims

'Skeletons could be plague victims'

By Nottingham Post  |  Posted: January 11, 2014
A MASS burial ground dating to the medieval period has been identified in Nottingham city centre by an archaeologist.
Scott Lomax has been researching the site, on the east side of Cranbrook Street, since 2008.
A burial ground was excavated by amateur archaeologists on the east side of Cranbrook Street in 1963.
Approximately 70 skeletons were discovered and it appeared they had been buried hurriedly, at the same time, with no orientation and with bodies laying on top of one another at angles inconsistent with Christian burial.
At that time, their date and circumstances of death and burial were not known.
Mr Lomax won funding from a scheme operated by the Council for British Archaeology and submitted two samples from a skeleton for radiocarbon dating to the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit at Oxford University.
The results show it dates from between 1415 and 1450.
Mr Lomax believes the skeletons represent victims of an epidemic who were buried outside the town to reduce the spread of the disease.
Mr Lomax added: "These people were hurriedly buried for a reason.
"They were also buried outside the town at a time when there were three churches with burial grounds, two friaries and a hospital, all of which had space for these burials.
"It all points to the very real possibility that these people were victims of some epidemic and bubonic plague has to be a strong consideration for further investigation.
He added: "I am hoping to secure funding to work with an international team of experts to determine if this is the case."

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