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Mystery as skeletons found with hands tied

Posted on Monday, 3 February, 2020 | Comment icon 9 comments

The skeletons were all found buried in a field. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Tommy Sea
Archaeologists have confirmed the discovery of over 40 skeletons in shallow graves at a building site in England.
The grisly find was made in December of last year by construction workers who had been laying the groundwork for a new retirement flats complex on West End Farm in Buckingham.

What makes the discovery particularly unusual is the fact that the bodies were all buried in shallow graves with their hands tied behind their backs.

"They were prisoners of some kind," said District and Town Councillor Robin Stuchbury. "They could date from Anglo-Saxon times, when there were killings in Buckingham, or from during the Civil War, which also saw casualties. Or they could be criminals who were hanged on the gallows in the town."

As things stand however, little is actually known about the find and the firm responsible for developing the site has come under fire for not being forthcoming enough about the discovery.
An archaeological report about the excavation also continues to remain elusive.

"We are unable to comment on the archaeological remains discovered at the West End Farm site at present, as we are still awaiting a report detailing the results from the archaeological contractors," said a spokesman for Bucks County Council's Archaeological Service (BCAS).

With the bodies removed and no answers forthcoming, the whole thing remains shrouded in mystery.

Source: Live Science | Comments (9)

Tags: Skeleton, Burial

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Manwon Lender on 3 February, 2020, 16:57
I have a question, how do they know for certain that their hands were tied, they state the bodies were in the ground for many years. Anything they would have been tied with would have deteriorated so how can they know for sure? Peace
Comment icon #2 Posted by Piney on 3 February, 2020, 18:10
Position of wrists and soil staining. 
Comment icon #3 Posted by Manwon Lender on 3 February, 2020, 18:17
I am still confused, how much soil staining would be left since they suspect the graves were from Norman times Wouldn't the arm bones just fall to the sides of corpse during decomposition and settling over 700 or 800 years? Peace
Comment icon #4 Posted by Piney on 3 February, 2020, 18:37
Not if they were buried. They would stay in-situ. Dating hasn't been done yet. The bodies could be from the slaughter of the Danes, William's handling of Saxon upstarts or the Civil War. In any case they were always buried in a pit so nobody had to smell them. 
Comment icon #5 Posted by Manwon Lender on 3 February, 2020, 18:51
Cool, thanks Peace
Comment icon #6 Posted by hetrodoxly on 4 February, 2020, 0:01
It reminds me of the mass grave found in Dorset a few years back containing 50 Viking skeletons, probably a captured raiding party, though they'd all had their heads hacked off.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Susanc241 on 4 February, 2020, 8:41
Execution cemeteries are well known for Saxon England. Wouldn?t be surprised if they found post holes for gallows and giblets. These places usually lay on the borders of what we might now call parishes. As far from the village as possible without going into another 'parish'.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Susanc241 on 4 February, 2020, 8:44
Sorry, double post.
Comment icon #9 Posted by jbondo on 5 February, 2020, 18:11
I'm going with gallows criminals. Makes sense that they'd be buried in the same place.

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