The Great British Dig: History In Your Back Garden team made a gruesome discovery on Wednesday’s show, after uncovering medieval human remains during the excavation of a ‘lost cemetery’.
The More4 series sees Outnumbered actor Hugh Dennis team up with leading archaeologists to excavate people’s gardens and learn more about local history.
For the programme’s second episode, the team headed to Yorkshire to hunt for artefacts in Masham.
The team hoped to find human remains from Viking or Anglo Saxon times, but they couldn’t have been prepared for the extent of the graves they uncovered.
With the help of archaeologists Richard Taylor, Natasha Billson and Dr Chloe Duckworth, Hugh went about digging in back gardens of houses and pubs.
‘Oh wow!’ Richard said, stepping away from the trench in shock during one moment.
Calling the rest of the team, he added: ‘I think we’ve possibly found some human bone.’
Consulting the expert on site, it was then revealed that the first bones they discovered were not human at all, but animal – likely a ‘Victorian pig’.
There were more animal bones too, possibly belonging to cows, sheep or goats in the region of 200 years old.
The experts speculated that there was a Victorian abattoir near the site of the dig, which could have explained the high levels of animal bones found.
However, despite initial disappointments, the team soon made a breakthrough.
The experts soon found a human bone and fragments of a skull, which they managed to identity as being more than 800 years old.
‘I think we’ve got ourselves a burial. You can see the layers in the trench,’ archaeologists Richard said, showing the different colour soils.
‘They’re different periods and in this one here just above the bones we found some medieval pot. That tells us what’s below it is probably earlier. So I’m very confident that this burial is earlier than 1200.’
Facial anthropologist Professor Carline Wilkinson was then able to scan the fragments of the skull and conduct a digital reconstruction, creating a projection of what the individual would have looked like while alive.
Speaking about the discovery, Hugh continued: ‘We uncovered 800-year-old bodies. They were literally in people’s back gardens.
‘There was one that was wedged between someone’s garage and the wall next door. There was another one five yards away underneath the cash point,’ he said on on Steph’s Packed Lunch.
‘You suspect there might be something down there, but you’re not expecting to find that,’ he added.
Speaking about the digital scan, Hugh went on to say: ‘We had a facial reconstruction person who rebuilt the face of this skeleton that we had found.
‘As soon as you see that, it makes you think: “This is a proper person with a proper life”. He looked like someone you’d go to the pub with.’
It comes after the first episode of the series saw the discovery of a Roman stronghold to our screens.
The Great British Dig: History In Your Back Garden’ airs tonight on More4 at 9pm.
Credit: Original article published here.