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Could this be Lincoln's own Richard III moment?

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: July 12, 2013

  • Cecily Spall with the skull of a 10th Century skull which might be reconstructed.

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Archaeologists could turn to technology to reveal the face of Lincoln Castle's 1,000-year-old skeleton.

Experts say state-of-the art techniques could help them reconstruct the features of the mysterious figure discovered in a coffin.

Similar technology was used to build the face of Richard III, who was found buried under a car park in Leicester this year.

Tiny cameras have shown the inside of the sarcophagus, revealing well-preserved bones and a mystery "shiny object".

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Now, archaeologists are predicting the person is likely to be male – and a prosperous or important figure in the city.

They also claim the Saxon coffin is unique in Britain because of its pristine form.

Cecily Spall, an archaeologist on the site, said: "We can guess they were probably a wealthy person, possibly a merchant, or maybe a member of the clergy.

"There's a small chance there's an inscription on the sarcophagus, but we may never be able to name and identify the person because there aren't the historical documents to do so.

"However, you can tell a lot from bones – the person's sex, age, medical conditions or even where they were born and if they were native to Lincolnshire. There is a skull and jaw from another skeleton on the site that may be in good enough condition for facial reconstruction.

"With the endoscopy camera we've seen that the bones in the sarcophagus appear to be in good condition and so the same thing could be done."

The coffin containing the remains was found during a dig on the site of a church which pre-dates the castle.

It was found as part of the £19.9 million Lincoln Castle Revealed project, which will see the creation of a Magna Carta visitor centre.

The limestone casket is the highlight of a growing list of remarkable finds at the landmark – some of which will be on display at the castle as early as August.

Mary Powell, programme manager for Lincoln Castle Revealed, said: "When we started the project we didn't predict that we would find something like this.

"And because of the amount that has been found I've had to allocate a larger room to display everything, including the reconstruction.

"It's very exciting, especially because it's Saxon and from a period we know next to nothing about."

The oldest discoveries are remains of three Roman buildings and two newborn babies – all thought to be from 300 AD to 400 AD.

Miss Spall says it is a mystery why the infants were buried in the area and it is unknown if they died naturally or were killed for sacrificial reasons.

Most recently, A 10th century Viking building has also been unearthed.

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  • Pete67  |  July 12 2013, 1:47PM

    The second picture could be titled 'Alas poor Yoric'.

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