Looking good for its age! The face of a priest who died 900 years ago is remade after his remains are found buried in Lincoln Cathedral
- The man died about 900 years ago and was uncovered with a pewter chalice and plate used to hold Eucharistic wine and bread similar to other burials
- The facial reconstruction techniques used result in an image that can be recognized by the person’s friends, but the color of the hair and eyes is a gamble
- The archaeological excavation was funded by the National Lottery and includes the delivery of essential restoration and renovation works to the iconic Lincoln Cathedral
Excavation of a clergy cemetery in Lincoln Cathedral allowed experts to uncover the face of a medieval priest.
The man died about 900 years ago and was exposed with a pewter chalice and plate holding Eucharistic wine and bread.
Similar objects have been found in other funerary monuments from the 12th and 13th centuries.
Analysis of the skeleton confirmed that the priest was a man, about 169 cm tall, and died between 35 and 45 years old.
Inverness-based forensic artist Hew Morrison then used Allen Archeology’s measurements and photographs of the skull to create a lifelike reconstruction of the priest’s face.
Forensic facial reconstruction of a 900-year-old medieval priest excavated by Allen Archeology at Lincoln Cathedral during recent renovation works
The priest’s excavation was carried out by Allen Archeology Ltd, based in Lincoln, as part of the Lincoln Cathedral Connected project to allow for drainage works and landscaping around the cathedral.
Studies have shown that the techniques used for facial reconstruction result in a image that can be recognized by those who knew the person.
The characteristics of the priest’s skull, such as his close-set eyes and a slightly asymmetrical chin, are taken from the dimensions of the skull and are precise.
W.However, without the availability of DNA tests, the color of the hair and eyes can only be an educated guess.
Other interesting finds from the skeleton showed that the priest had hardly suffered any illness or injury during his lifetime, with the exception of bruising a small amount of mineralized plaque.
The natural wear of the discs on his lower back shows that the priest was involved in a certain amount of physical activity and was typical of someone of that age.
His remains also suggest that he was well fed and had a risk-free lifestyle.
The Revd Canon, John Patrick, Subdean of Lincoln, said, “These excavation findings are truly compelling, and the historical insights we gain testify to the rich history of the religious site.”
Lincoln Cathedral dates from 1072 and was once one of the tallest buildings in the world
During the excavation, many other fascinating artifacts were found that are currently dated and cataloged.
They will then be on display as part of Lincoln Cathedral’s new visitor center.
Senior manager at Allen Archeology, Natasha Powers, said, “This funeral is just one of the fascinating discoveries our team made during the Cathedral Connected project.
“We have revealed new evidence of Roman, Saxon, Medieval, Tudor and Victorian activities within the site, and a full analysis of the approximately 50 graves excavated will provide us with a window into the lives of Lincoln’s medieval people. understand . ‘
The project is funded by the National Lottery and includes the delivery of essential restoration and renovation works to the iconic Lincoln Cathedral, due to be completed in 2022.
These works will also include a new visitor center with the artifacts found.