‘Black Death pit’ unearthed by crossrail project

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A set of 13 bodies believed to date back to the time of the Black Death has been uncovered during excavations to construct the new Crossrail railway network.

The remains, discovered in a 5.5m-wide shaft near Charterhouse Square in London, were found alongside pottery dated to the mid-14th century. Experts believe that the neat arrangement of the skeletons points to their burial in the early stages of the disease, before its development into a pandemic caused bodies to be interred unevenly in mass graves.

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Jay Carver, project archaeologist for Crossrail, said: “We’ve found archaeology from pretty much all periods — from the very ancient prehistoric right up to a 20th-century industrial site — but this site is probably the most important medieval site that we’ve got. This is one of the most significant discoveries, quite small in extent but highly significant because of its data and what is represented in the shaft.”

  

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Lyndon Johnson tapes document Nixon subterfuge

Recently declassified tapes of telephone calls made by former US president Lyndon Johnson reveal more details of Richard Nixon’s dealings in disrupting talks to end the Vietnam war. The recordings, which were made in 1968, indicate that Johnson considered Nixon to have “blood on his hands” as a result of his intervention in the peace talks, the potential success of which the then-nominee believed would damage his campaign for the presidency.

  

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Wymondham Abbey awarded £1.5m for redevelopment project

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Richard III ‘would have wanted Catholic burial’

  

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Richard III’s “very serious personal faith” means that his remains should be given a Roman Catholic burial, according to the academic whose research led to their discovery. John Ashdown-Hill, who led the Looking for Richard Project, is the latest figure to offer his thoughts about the burial place of the skeleton uncovered beneath a Leicester car park. To read the opinions of further historians and experts about what should happen next, click here 

  

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Image credits: Crossrail (death pit); Sudeley Castle (altar god); University of Leicester (Richard III)