Two skeletons of a male and female have been found in a ‘lost’ chapel in Leicestershire, England after a team of archaeologists and volunteers discovered them, according to Discover Magazine.

The archaeologists, who were working a four-year excavation project at the location, revealed that the couple was uncovered holding hands, with fingers entwined, and have been doing so for at least 700 years.

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The site of chapel was still unknown before research by local historian John Morison proposed its existence based on a will found at Hare Pie Bank from 1532, where the annual Easter Hare Pie Scramble and Bottle Kicking occur (which is a local tradition dating to the 18th century).

He talked to the Leicester Mercury saying:

“Antiquarians over the ages have referred to a chapel somewhere in Hallaton; it was a case of piecing evidence together and then getting in geo-physicists to take images of the land from above to locate the spot for our dig.”

Vicky Score, an archaeologist from of the University of Leicester, revealed that the skeletons are not completely unique, although the location of the find was . She said:

“We have seen similar skeletons before from Leicester where a couple has been buried together; the main thing is why were they buried out up there? There is a perfectly good church in Hallaton. Was it a special place?”

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Those 2 skeletons are not the only found ones; 9 more have been discovered in the chapel, which believed to an area of pilgrimage. Expectation of being criminals or foreigners could be the reason why those bodies are not buried in the main church. The skeletons have been removed to the university for further investigation.

Score also told the Leicester Mercury that Carbon-dating (a chemical analysis used to determine the age of organic materials based on their content of the radioisotope carbon-14; believed to be reliable up to 40,000 years) on 9 skeletons had expected them to be from the 14th century.

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She added that one skeleton was a 46-old man (or over) ands seemed to have been killed by a sharp tool, such as a pole axe to the skull, probably during a fight. Another male skeleton seemed to have experienced childhood trauma or some kind of disease during the first 9 years of his life, he was about 20 or more, buried in a pit with his legs raised to his chest.

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Ms. Score said:

“He was buried in a very unusual position in a pit with his legs splayed widely apart, arms flexed at the elbows and hands tucked beneath his chin.

We have no idea why he was buried like this — it could possibly be due to a medical condition.”

The team also found many silver pennies near the skeletons that dateto the time between the 11th – 15th centuries; they are looking forward to figure out more details about the grave-site.

Fortunately for all us still alive: we don’t need to be buried and dead for hundreds of years to express and experience love.

Further Sources:

1. Image Credits: University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS).

2. Skeletons found ‘holding hands’ after 700 years