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Re-animating the nameless dead? Encountering the people of medieval Cambridge

Archaeologists at work. Image credit: Craig Cessford.

As part of the Science Festival 2017 a talk in the Old Divinity School at St John’s College aims to reconstruct the lives of the 400+ skeletons found in a medieval burial ground discovered beneath the building’s foundations.

During the rebuilding of the Old Divinity School at St John’s College, archaeological investigations unearthed one of Britain’s largest medieval hospital cemeteries containing the complete skeletal remains of more than 400 individuals as well as the fragmentary remains of what could be as many as 1,000 more individuals. But who were these people who once walked the streets of medieval Cambridge?

A talk by Professor John Robb from the Division of Archaeology at the University of Cambridge aims to reanimate medieval Cambridge’s anonymous poor. The talk, which is grounded in a project analysing the skeletons, will draw on a range of modern scientific techniques to reconstruct the lives of these ancient people.

Delving deeper into the issue, the audience will also be invited to join in a discussion about what we need to know about someone to consider them a person. Their vital statistics? A face? A name? 

Re-animating the nameless dead? Encountering the people of medieval Cambridge is on Wednesday 15 March from 5pm-6pm. Entry is free, but booking is essential, visit  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/re-animating-the-nameless-dead-encountering-the-people-of-medieval-cambridge-tickets-30889059007 for tickets.