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Bones may be bishop’s

by
05 July 2013

by Richard Vamplew

SHUTTERSTOCK

A SKELETON found during excavations under Lincoln Castle ( News, 31 May) may belong to a Saxon king or bishop, archaeologists believe.

The skeleton was in a stone sarcophagus thought to date from about AD900. Although the sarcophagus has not yet been opened, an endoscopy revealed that the remains were buried alongside other - possibly gold - objects.

Mary Powell, from Lincoln Castle, said: "We think it's somebody terribly important - possibly a bishop or a Saxon king. At the moment, we can see the side of the coffin, but not the lid. It's going to be incredibly challenging to get it out; so we are being very careful."

The sarcophagus is buried approximately three metres (nine feet) underground. It is hoped that there will be carving on the lid that might reveal the identity of the skeleton. "We are all excited about lifting the lid, and seeing who is in there, and what is buried with him," Ms Powell said.

The limestone sarcophagus was found alongside a Saxon church with eight other skeletons, all buried in wooden coffins, one in a woollen shroud. The team has been carrying out DNA examinations of the eight skeletons. Ms Powell said that archaeologists were looking into a possible connection with an eighth-century king of Lindsey, named Blaecca. The dig also revealed two Roman town houses.

The £19.9-million project Lincoln Castle Revealed is aimed at creating a visitor attraction at the venue. Many of the finds will go on display when the project is completed in 2015.

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