"700-Year-Old Human ѕkeɩetoпѕ ᴜпeагtһed During Edinburgh Tram Expansion: Insights into the City's Medieval Past"

“700-Year-Old Human ѕkeɩetoпѕ ᴜпeагtһed During Edinburgh Tram Expansion: Insights into the City’s Medieval Past”

Prior to the expansion of trams to Newhaven, archaeologists have discovered ten bodies in medieval burials dating from 1300 to 1650 outside South Leith Parish Church.

Investigations conducted in the past have revealed that during the Middle Ages, the church cemetery extended across the road, with graves surviving beneath the current road surface.

Archaeologists have so far discovered the remains of ten bodies

After the corpses have been unearthed, the remains will be examined and analyzed to disclose information about the origins, health, maladies, and diet of medieval Leith’s inhabitants.

Archaeologist John Lawson of the council stated, “The historic port and town of Leith is one of the most significant urban archaeological sites in Scotland, with evidence of occupancy dating back over a thousand years.”

“Despite having just begun, our team’s excavations have already yielded significant new information about the history of the cemetery and earlier settlement, with the discovery of what we believe to be the original medieval graveyard wall.

“It is anticipated that additional new discoveries will be made and that significant new evidence will be uncovered about the lives of Leith’s medieval residents so that we can tell their story to modern Leithers.”

Archaeologist Catherine Warden examines one of the bodies discovered

Depute leader Cammy Day said: “This is an extremely fascinating, essential part of the broader project to bring the tram to Newhaven, shedding some light on centuries of history here in Leith.

“It’s crucial that we conserve the remains found here, and a team of archaeologists are carrying out the painstaking job of doing this.

“What’s more, further examination of the excavated graves will give us an invaluable glimpse into the lives of Leithers past.”

 

Previous investigations have shown that in the medieval period the church’s graveyard extended across the road with graves surviving beneath the current road surface.

After the bodies have been excavated the remains will be undergo examination and analysis that will reveal information on the origins, health, diseases and diet of the people of medieval Leith.

Council archaeologist John Lawson said: “The historic port and town of Leith is one of Scotland’s most significant urban archaeological sites with evidence of occupation going back over 900 years.

“Although only just started, the excavations by our team have already provided important new evidence regarding the history of the graveyard and earlier town with the discovery of what we believe are the remains of its original medieval graveyard wall.

The skeletal remains were discovered in medieval cemeteries dating back to 1300.

“It is anticipated that additional new discoveries will be made and that significant new evidence will be uncovered about the lives of Leith’s medieval residents so that we can tell their story to modern Leithers.”

The deputy leader of Leith, Cammy Day, stated, “This is an intriguing and essential component of the larger initiative to restore the tram to Newhaven, casting light on centuries of Leith history.”

“It is essential that we preserve the remains discovered here, and a team of archaeologists is currently engaged in this laborious task.

In addition, further examination of the excavated graves will provide invaluable insight into the past lives of the Leithers.

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