Medieval skeletons are found at palace

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The Independent Online

Eight skeletons have been discovered in the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen's official residence in Edinburgh. The remains were found by gas workers who were laying pipes under the kitchen.

Eight skeletons have been discovered in the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen's official residence in Edinburgh. The remains were found by gas workers who were laying pipes under the kitchen.

It is believed that the skeletons probably belonged to residents of Canongate who were buried in a secular graveyard on the west side of the old Abbey Church between the 14th and 16th centuries.

Archaeologists are examining the remains of six adults, two of them young, a child and a baby. One of the bodies was facing west, while the rest faced east as religious practice at the time dictated.

As the skeletons are still partly buried, only the sex of two males, one of them young, have been determined.

Historic Scotland, which supervised the dig, has revised the under-floor works to prevent further disturbance to the remains, which were found on 11 September.

The kitchen uses chambers from the late 17th century rebuilding of the palace but the graves are thought to be from an earlier period.

As royal apartments stood on the site before the palace was established by King James IV in the 15th century, experts had considered the possibility that the bones belonged to royals.

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