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Catholic Burial Puzzles Archaeologists in England

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

England Burial BeadsST. ALBANS, ENGLAND—According to BBC News, archaeologists have made a puzzling discovery in the churchyard of St. Albans Cathedral in Hertfordshire: the body of a child with what appear to be rosary beads wrapped around the hand. The presence of rosary beads is indicative of a Catholic burial, but the cemetery is thought to have belonged to the Church of England. Historical records suggest that around 170 people were buried in the churchyard between 1750 and 1850. The Canterbury Archaeological Trust has been excavating the site for several months ahead of construction of a new visitor center, and the child’s burial with the beads is the only one among 80 graves to have any artifacts associated with it. According to site director Ross Lane, there are several possible explanations for the incongruous burial. “It could be an earlier burial,” he said, “or it could be that this was a visitor to St. Albans from further afield and they’ve just been caught in an epidemic and buried.” To read in-depth about a nineteenth-century cemetery in England, go to “Haunt of the Resurrection Men.”

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