Human remains have been unearthed in one of the oldest towns in Scotland during some road works. Experts say that the skeletons found in St. Andrews could be of a group of Franciscan monks who lived in the 15th century.
The resurfacing of the Greyfriars Garden have been detained for the remains, found six inches below the surface, to excavate and preserve the place.
The Fife Council team of archaeologists have spent years trying to find the exact location of the monastery inhabiting by monks.
Archaeologist Douglas Spiers says: “St. Andrews is a city with considerable antiquity so we always have the possibility that archaeological remains come to light in the area as part of the work. However, we think that reducing the surface to a small margin would not be deep enough to discover anything. Obviously we were wrong”.
Spiers says the remains will be treated with respect. “They are human remains in a sacred space so they must be treated with proper dignity. It is known of the existence of a Franciscan monastery somewhere in the surroundings because by their order they were not buried in the local cemetery, but in a small one of their own.
“The exact footprint of the monastery is not known and previous archaeological work has not been able to locate it. However, there is little doubt that the discovery may represent part of the monastery's cemetery.”.
The monastery is thought to have been established at St Andrews in 1458, a somewhat late development in the medieval city. It was completed in 1478 but looted in 1559 during the reform.
Analysis of the skeletons will take place soon and experts hope they will reveal more about life and death of the bodies involved.
This is the last of a long list of discoveries in St Andrews, which have revealed significant information about one of the oldest towns in the country. Home renovations have revealed the remains of some of the first houses and pieces of medieval pottery.
Spiers says: "All these investigations are slow but they are valuable as they shed new light on the medieval origins of St Andrews. More importantly, views rooted in the town's already written medieval history are changing.”.
Graduated in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication, since I was little I have been attracted to the world of information and audiovisual production. Passion for informing and being informed of what is happening in every corner of the planet. Likewise, I am pleased to be part of the creation of an audiovisual product that will later entertain or inform people. My interests include cinema, photography, the environment and, above all, history. I consider it essential to know the origin of things to know where we come from and where we are going. Special interest in curiosities, mysteries and anecdotal events in our history.