A church in Kent has literally more skeletons in its cupboards than any other in England.
The ossuary in St Leonard’s church in Hythe houses bones and skulls that were dug up from local graveyards around 700 years ago, possibly to clear space for the vast numbers of people who perished during the Black Death.
Shaun Williamson finds out about the different theories as to why such a large collection of skeletons is housed in the ossuary.
He also finds out what the bones tell us about the lives and deaths of our ancestors.
Great little video from the BBC on one of the few surviving ossuaries in the UK.
When a set of bones was discovered at a property in Dorset this month, experts confirmed they were “bones of antiquity”. But what happens when you find human remains in your back garden?
Imagine you have got the builders in and they are digging up your garden.
Then suddenly work stops, and the contractors tell you they have uncovered a set of bones.
This is what happened to a woman from Preston, near Weymouth, who was having an extension built.
The news would probably trigger a whirlwind of questions: Are the bones animal? Are they human? And if so - are they ancient or evidence of a recent murder?
Most pertinently, what happens next?
Some handy advice from the BBC - good to know! ;o)
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — On a bluff overlooking a sweep of Southern California beach, scientists in 1976 unearthed what were among the oldest skeletal remains ever found in the Western Hemisphere.
Researchers would come to herald the bones — dating back nearly 10,000 years — as a potential treasure trove for understanding the earliest human history of the continental United States. But a local tribal group called the Kumeyaay Nation claimed that the bones, representing at least two people, were their ancestors and demanded them back several years ago.
For decades, fights like this over the provenance and treatment of human bones have played out across the nation. Yet new federal protections could mean that the vast majority of the remains of an estimated 160,000 Native Americans held by universities, museums and federal government agencies, including those sought by the Kumeyaay, may soon be transferred to tribes.
TV crime shows like Bones and CSI are quick to explain each death by showing highly detailed scans and video images of victims’ insides. Traditional autopsies, if shown at all, are at best in supporting roles to the high-tech equipment, and usually gloss over the sometimes physically grueling tasks of sawing through skin and bone.
But according to two autopsy and body imaging experts at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, the notion that “virtopsy” could replace traditional autopsy— made popular by such TV dramas — is simply not ready for scientifically vigorous prime time. The latest virtual imaging technologies — including full-body computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, X-ray and angiography — are helpful, they say, but cannot yet replace a direct physical inspection of the body’s main organs.
It’s hard to imagine, looking out at the frozen expanses of Yakutia, in North Eastern Siberia, that 30,000 or so years ago, so many animal species, now extinct, roamed the Pleistocene grasslands. From 12-foot tall, five-ton wooly mammoth bulls to tiny rodents, an Ice Age hunter would have found as many as 100 animals in each square mile he tracked, at least according to Sergei Zimov, our Ice Age expert, geo-physicist and guide during our recent visit.
It’s not published until October, but OMG! Click here for further details…