‘Lost Chapel’ Skeletons Found ‘Holding Hands’ After 700 Years

The team of archaeologists from University of Leicester have discovered skeletons of man and woman buried together in the same grave with their arms crossed together. The ancient couple is for more than 700 years.

A couple who have been holding hands for 700 years have been uncovered at the ‘lost’ chapel of St Morrell in Leicestershire. Photo: University of Leicester Archaeological Services

A couple who have been holding hands for 700 years have been uncovered at the ‘lost’ chapel of St Morrell in Leicestershire. Photo: University of Leicester Archaeological Services

Together till the end and even more. English archeologists team discovered skeletal remains of two people, male and female, buried together in one grave holding their arms  at Chapel of St Morrell in Leicestershire.

The remains were dated to the 14th century using radiocarbon, and it appears they were about the same age when they were buried together. Researchers said it is unclear why they were found at the small chapel and not at the main church in the nearby village.

“We have seen similar skeletons before from Leicester where a couple has been buried together in a single grave. The main question we find ourselves asking is why were they buried up there?” said Vicky Score, an archaeologist from of the University of Leicester.

“There is a perfectly good church in Hallaton. This leads us to wonder if the chapel could have served as some sort of special place of burial at the time.”

Researchers believe it is possible the bodies were buried apart from the main church because they were criminals, foreigners or sick. Alternatively, the chapel may have been a special pilgrimage site.

The four year excavation project with the Hallaton Fieldwork Group (HFWG) has revealed the full plan of the chapel as well as the cemetery and evidence that the hillside has been used since at least the Roman period. The earliest mention of the chapel in Hallaton was in a will of 1532, but it was only found recently after research by local historian John Morrison.

Aside from the bonded couple, 11 skeletons have been found so far, which are yet to be analyzed, but some discoveries have been made already.

Among the other skeletons was an older male apparently killed by a sharp implement, such as a pole axe, to the head, according to Score. A young male was buried in a pit with his legs raised to his chest, which archaeologists said was possibly the result of a disease, she said.

“He was buried in a very unusual position in a pit with his legs splayed widely apart, arms flexed at the elbows and hands tucked beneath his chin. We have no idea why he was buried like this – it could possibly be due to a medical condition.”

Other findings include the walls and tiled floors of the site, fragments of stone masonry, wall plaster, tiles and lead from the windows. Silver pennies dating between the 12th and 16th centuries give clues as to when the chapel was in use, says CNN News.

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