Lost Lives, New Worlds: unlocking the story of the 1650 Scottish soldiers buried on Palace Green in Durham
In November 2013 archaeologists observing building work near Durham Cathedral made an unexpected and unusual discovery when disordered tumbles of articulated skeletons were uncovered in two mass graves. Over the next two years, a complex jigsaw of evidence was pieced together by a team of researchers in order to establish the identity of the human remains.
Today we know them to be some of the Scottish prisoners who died in terrible circumstances in Durham Cathedral and Castle following the Battle of Dunbar on the south-east coast of Scotland on 3 September 1650. In this lecture, Durham University’s Professor Chris Gerrard tells the story of how it has been possible to reconstruct why these men vanished off the historical radar using the latest techniques of archaeological science, and follows the controversies as researchers sought to solve a 350-year-old mystery.