On Thursday archaeologists, working on the Lincoln Castle Revealed project, began the process of opening the stone sarcophagus they found during excavation work at the castle earlier this year. Before the sarcophagus could be opened, experts created 3D scans of the sarcophagus. Then archaeologists removed the lid in pieces, starting with the end with the feet, and found a skeleton wearing what are thought to be leather boots or shoes.
When the grave was discovered, archaeologists believed it contained the remains of an elite member of Saxon society, like a king or bishop, because of the grave’s location near the church. This was argument was reinforced by the shoes found on the skeleton. Mary Powell, project manager for Lincoln Castle Revealed project, told This is Lincolnshire, “We still think it is someone of importance and the fact it was wearing leather shoes or boots adds to that.”
They plan to do a facial reconstruction based on the skull, as well as carbon-date the remains to determine how old they are.
The grave of the Saxon ‘King’ was found alongside eight other skeletons near a church during excavations before renovation work at Lincoln Castle. The dig was undertaken as part of a $32 million project during which Lincolnshire will build a new center to house Lincoln’s copy of the Magna Carta, archaeological finds from the site, and a tower to provide access to the castle walls. The project is expected to be completed in 2015.
Read more at:
The Lincolnite (has a slideshow of the lid removal process and the extraction of the sarcophagus from the site)
This is Lincolnshire (see 3D scans and photos of the sarcophagus being opened here)
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