Remains of a Medieval friary with surrounding graves found

Excavations on a construction site in Cambridge, United Kingdom, revealed foundations of 3 Medieval building belonging to a friary. Archaeologists discovered also more than 25 skeletons and expect to find about twice as many.

Overview of the site (by Cambridge Archaeological Unit)

The discovery was made in the university’s New Museums site, which is about to undergo a major redevelopment. The land was home to a friary between 1290 and 1538, making many of the remains 450 years old. According to the archaeologists, the skeletons are really perfectly preserved apart from where early 20th Century foundations have chopped through them resulting in preservations about half of a body. Other find include the foundations of several large buildings, window glass, and decorated tiles.

Burials found at the site (by Cambridge News)
Foundations of the building (by Cambridge News)

The Augustinian friary was founded in 1290 but fell victim to the dissolution of the monasteries in 1538 under Henry VIII. The founders of the friary set up the buildings and marked off an area of the cemetery. The individuals were buried in neatly organised rows. After 100 or 150 years the area was filled up and burying started from the beginning. According to archaeologists this process was repeated at least three times at the site. The skeletons will now be processed, washed and studied by specialist osteoarchaeologists.

Excavations at the site (by Cambridge Archaeological Unit)

(after Cambridge Archaeological Unit, BBC News, Cambridge News & International Business Times)

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