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Lincoln Castle Sarcophagus

Sarcophagus in Lincoln Castle Believed to Contain ‘Somebody Terribly Important’


Archaeologists in Britain believe they are on the verge of an important discovery as they are set to extract a sarcophagus discovered at Lincoln Castle, which was built by William the Conqueror in 1068 AD on the site of an old Roman fortress built 60 AD.

The stone sarcophagus is believed to date back to around 900 AD and was found alongside the remains of a church which was previously unknown. It is due to be extracted shortly, despite the difficulty in removing it due to its weight and the fact that it is wedged in a deep trench.

Archaeologists have stated that they believe the casket contains “somebody terribly important” like a Saxon king or bishop.

The discovery was made during excavations at Lincoln Castle in preparation for building a new centre to house the Magna Carta, the Charta issued by King John of England as a practical solution to the political crisis he faced in 1215. Written in Latin on parchment, the Magna Carta established for the first time that the king was subject to the law, rather than above it.

During the excavations, the team of archaeologists found the remains of a stone Roman townhouse, which is thought to have been demolished in the 9 th or 10 th Century, and the remnants of an old church. "It's very unusual for archaeologists to encounter a church which hasn't been detected in historical documents,” said archaeologist Cecily Spall.

Alongside the Church was the sarcophagus and several other human skeletons thought to be at least 1,000 years old. Other old artefacts recovered include pottery, cooking pots, animal bones, ice skates, and dice made from animal bone and antler.

The identity of the mystery individual within the sarcophagus will be announced once archaeologists complete their analysis.

By April Holloway

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April Holloway is a Co-Owner, Editor and Writer of Ancient Origins. For privacy reasons, she has previously written on Ancient Origins under the pen name April Holloway, but is now choosing to use her real name, Joanna Gillan.

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