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Knight buried at Hereford Cathedral may have had jousting injuries, archaeologists find

Knight buried at Hereford Cathedral may have had jousting injuries, archaeologists find


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The remains of over 700 individuals were discovered at the graveyard of England’s Hereford Cathedral between 2009 and 2011. Archaeologists are now revealing more details about some of the people that were buried here during the Middle Ages.

Built in the early 12th century it is believed that Hereford Cathedral replaced an earlier building on the site and archaeologists investigating the site have also uncovered information about the development of Saxon Hereford as well as excavating and recording c. 2500 burials as part of the landscaping project.

Headland Archaeology conducted a detailed study of over 700 individuals from these excavations (undertaken between 2009 – 2011) for Hereford Cathedral, produced exciting glimpses into life, disease, accident and injury from the Norman Conquest through to the 19th century.

However, some individuals stood out more than others – one such being the burial of a leper, and the other a lady with a severed hand. One of the most remarkable stories is of an individual believed to be a Knight. The interpretation is based on a number of disparate bits of scientific observation.

Firstly, he has very numerous fractures, all to ribs and the shoulder on the right side. Some of these had healed others hadn’t, showing they were suffered at different times and also indicating that at death he hadn’t recovered from his latest wounds. He also had an unusual twisting break to his left lower leg and these wounds are all consistent with injuries that can be sustained through tourney or jousting.

Analysis of his teeth that the man was likely to have been brought up in Normandy and moved to Hereford later in life.

Andy Boucher, who managed the post excavation work, remarked, “Obviously we can never be sure how people came about their wounds, but in this case there is a considerable amount of evidence suggesting this man was involved in some form of violent activity and the locations of his injuries do match quite closely what might be expected from taking part in mock battles.

“The fact that he was still doing this after he was 45 suggests he must have been very tough.”

A book about the discoveries from this work, Death in the Close – A Medieval Mystery, is due to be published in 2015

Headland Archaeology discover what could be the remains of a Norman Knight http://t.co/kxax3bGj7B @HistoryExtra pic.twitter.com/AQDvZHKOuD

— Headland Archaeology (@HeadlandArchUK) February 16, 2015


Watch the video: Life after fame: A knights fall (May 2022).


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