Monday, July 28, 2014

Twenty-five skeletons found on farm

Archaeologists have unearthed more than two dozen skeletons in what is thought to be an ancient cemetery at Chester Farm, near Irchester.
It is hoped the exciting discovery may shed further light on the 2,000-year-old Roman settlement and give another glimpse into what life was like in Roman Britain.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Living With The Dead

HIDDEN between tomb stones and ancient crypts, this Filipino graveyard has become an unlikely living city for poverty stricken families.

North Manila Cemetary in the Philippines is home to more than 10,000 people too poor to afford rent in one of the most densely populated places on Earth.
Originally home to caretakers, the living population of the cemetery started to grow as generations hit by poverty moved into their family crypts, sleeping with the deceased remains of parents and grandparents.

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Skeletons of war dead from 11,000 BC go on display

Oldest War Dead
Oldest War Dead
Lying on their sides, curled together, the two skeletons on display for the first time at the British Museum look peacefully laid to rest. But the razor-sharp stone flakes scattered around and among the bones are the remains of ancient weapons, with a myriad breaks and slash marks on the skeletons. The two are among the oldest war dead in the world, men who died a brutal death after violent lives 13,000 years ago.
The cemetery they came from, on the banks of the Nile in what is now northern Sudan, is famous among archaeologists: dating from about 11,000 BC, it is among the oldest organised burial grounds in the world. However, the finds, including the shattered bones of scores of men, women and children and the remains of the weapons that killed them, have never been exhibited before.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

The 'oldest tree in Europe' discovered in a Welsh cemetery

5000 year old yew tree
5000 year old yew tree in Wales
I don't normally blog about trees (well perhaps Family Trees) but as this one is in a cemetery its worthy of note. Experts say a yew tree found in St Cynog’s churchyard in Wales, is probably Europe’s oldest living thing.

The tree is more than 5,000 years old, that's 3,000BC. It started growing about 500 years before the Pharaohs in Egypt built the Great Pyramid of Giza. And it was a sapling at about the time work first began on building Stonehenge.

If only it could talk.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Down syndrome in medieval France

History Genealogy
The 1500 year old skull of a young girl with Down Syndrome
New research by archaeologists in France have discovered what is believed to be the oldest case of Down syndrome in the archaeological record. Archaeologists had originally discovered the skeleton of a young girl aged about 6 years old in 1989, when they excavated it along with 93 other skeletons from a 5th to 6th century cemetery located near the Abbey of Saint-Jean-des-Vignes in northeastern France. Researchers had suspected at the time of the excavation that the child may have had Down syndrome, but they believe they can now confirm the diagnosis.