Archaeology Magazine

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19th-Century Skeletons Recovered Near Portsmouth

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Rat-Island-SkeletonsCRANFIELD, ENGLAND—The nineteenth-century remains of four people have been recovered near the naval base on Burrow Island, also known as Rat Island, by a team of wounded soldiers from Operation Nightingale. The rapid-reaction team was called in for rescue excavations when a member of the public spotted the bones, which had been exposed by severe weather conditions. The four individuals are thought to have been French or American citizens held in floating prisons in the harbor. “Post-excavation work in our laboratories should contribute to shedding light on the living conditions of those individuals and the history of Rat Island,” Nicholas Márquez-Grant and Kelly Domoney of the Forensic Institute at Cranfield University told Culture 24