Carbon dating th process
It is thought that the burial ground at Charterhouse continued in use as the monastery developed through to the mid-16 The Farringdon site is the latest find made as part of the UK’s largest archaeology programme taking place across more than 40 Crossrail worksites.
Among the other artefacts that have been found are, the UK’s largest piece of amber ever discovered, bones from huge prehistoric animals that roamed the iced-covered London plains and items used by humans during the Bronze Age, Roman and Medieval times.
The scientists are hoping to map the DNA signature of the Plague bacteria and possibly contribute to the discussion regarding what caused the Black Death.
The bones may also be radio carbon dated to try and establish the burial dates. After 650 years, only the skeleton bones remain and do not present any modern-day health risk.
These are not the first skeletons found on the Crossrail project, with archaeologists already uncovering more than 300 burials at the New Cemetery near the site of the Bedlam Hospital at Liverpool Street from the 1500s to 1700s. The skeletons have been found 2.5 metres below the road.
Archaeologists also hope to find Roman artefacts as they dig deeper.
Twenty three skeletons have been uncovered lying in two carefully laid out rows on the edge of Charterhouse Square at Farringdon, and are believed to be up to 660 years old.
We will be undertaking scientific tests on the skeletons over the coming months to establish their cause of death, whether they were Plague victims from the 14th Century or later London residents, how old they were and perhaps evidence of who they were.
London Charterhouse was a Carthusian Monastery founded in 1371 outside the walled city of London.
Written records suggest the site was chosen due to its proximity close to one of three emergency burial grounds set out in 1348.
Previously that summer, a plague had swept with speed across all of Europe, killing an estimated 30 to 60 per cent of the European population.
In total, about 75 million people are believed to have died in the four year global pandemic including 25 million Europeans.
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In the 1980s a burial ground associated with 1348 Black Death was located in east Smithfield.