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Wakefield: Bones and stones

13 July 2012

EVEN in earlier centuries, there was not enough sunshine in England to keep up the levels of vitamin D, the findings of the archaeologists excavating under the floor of Wakefield Cathedral (above) suggest.

The dig has revealed about 40 graves, some dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, and some from medieval times, and there is evidence of rickets in both children and adults. Remains in the deeper graves have mostly been left undisturbed, but some have been sent for carbon dating, says the project manager of the dig from Wessex Archaeology, Andrew Norton, and they hope to discover more about those early inhabitants.

The building dates back to the 12th century, but there are remains that indicate an earlier church. The Dean of Wakefield, the Very Revd Jonathan Greener, says that there have been some exciting finds that "remind us that worship has been on this site for a thousand years or more".

The work is being carried out to enable a new floor to be laid, part of a multi-million pound redevelopment scheme, Project 2013.

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