In my last blog, I really stuck my neck out and predicted that we would encounter more graves. Fortunately, I have been proven right, and my reputation remains intact! For the last few days I have been excavating one of these new burials. In fact, in the little area that I am in, there are at least three other burials being excavated by David, Will and Ruth.


The busiest corner of the site

If you look in ARK you will see a quite interesting comparison between my skeleton Context: 1698, photographs M21/31-37 & M22/4-12 and Will’s skeleton Context: 1665, photographs M21/61-18, but more of that later.

The skeleton I have been digging is very interesting for a number of reasons: Firstly, its relationship to Context: 1665 and secondly, it appears that the burial has been disturbed and the person who disturbed it has placed it back together (although their knowledge of a human skeleton is somewhat lacking!) With regards to Context: 1665, if you look at the photographs, there appears to be symmetry between the two skeletons.


Skeleton (1698)


Skeleton (1665)

Both skeletons are buried along side each other on the same axis, and are placed at the same depth, so it is likely that they were in some way related to each other but the real clincher is the position of the arms. The arms on the inside, i.e. the right arm of Context: 1698 and the left arm of Context: 1665 are extended and the outside arms, i.e. the left arm of Context: 1698 and the right arm of Context: 1665 are paced across the pelvis. So when both skeletons are looked at in plan an imaginary line of symmetry can be drawn between them.

As I was excavating this skeleton, it appeared that while it seemed to articulated, it was actually in fact disturbed, and whoever disturbed it made an effort to place the disarticulated bones back into their original positions. As I was digging, the torso appeared to be relatively intact, but the skull, whilst roughly in the correct position, was obviously disturbed as it was too far way from the neck.


Skull of (1698)

But the best example is the legs; the left femur is properly articulated but the right femur, whilst in the in correct area, has actually been placed incorrectly. The ball of the femur is actually facing away from the socket joint of the pelvis; also the right tibia and fibula are disarticulated towards the left side of the burial. Finally, the feet themselves are present but defiantly disarticulated.


Close up of (1698)

This would lead one to presume that a grave digger was digging a new grave but came across this older burial and decided to place the bones that he disturbed back in their placed, refilled that grave, and decided to search elsewhere in the cemetery to dig his new grave.

All this disarticulation would lead one to believe that while one may Rest in Peace that does not necessarily mean the resting will be done in one piece.