7 more skeletons found near ECCI knight grave

25 April 2013

Archaeologists believe the skeletons could be the relations of the Medieval Knight found last month.

The remains of seven full and one partial skeleton have been discovered on the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation’s (ECCI) building site, including an adult female and infant skeleton in very close proximity to the suspected Medieval Knight found last month. 

Images courtesy of Headland Archaeology

All of the remains were laid to rest within the confines of an ancient wall, which archaeologists believe could be the remains of a family crypt.

The discoveries were all made under a car park on the building site of the new Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI) building in the Old Town of Edinburgh. The site was formerly that of the 13th century Blackfriar’s Monastery and later the the sixteenth century Old High School and seventeenth century Royal High School. The car park is making way for an attenuation tank, which is among dozens of low carbon measures that will help create a highly energy efficient, sustainable building.

The first discovery was made earlier this year when archaeologists uncovered the corner of an elaborately decorated sandstone slab with the telltale markings of a member of the nobility, including the carvings of the Calvary Cross and an ornate sword, which tells us this belonged to a high status individual such as a knight or other nobleman. An excavation of the immediate area also uncovered an adult skeleton, which is likely to have once occupied the grave. Further excavation of the graveyard area revealed three more adult skeletons, four infants and a skull.

The project’s archaeological services have been provided by Edinburgh based Headland Archaeology. The archaeologist who found the original grave, Ross Murray, studied at the University of Edinburgh’s former Archaeology building, which until 2010 was housed at High School Yards, just a few feet from where the Knight’s grave was found.

Ross Murray said:

“This site just keeps getting more and more interesting, it is turning out to be a real treasure trove of archaeology. We just can’t seem to stop finding skeletons and bones.

These new finds looks likely to be the possible relations of the suspected Medieval Knight we found earlier this year. The skull of the skeleton found immediately beneath the location of the Knight looks like that of a female and the remains found on the other side of the ornate slab belong to an infant from the same period.”

Excavation will continue on the site for at least another two weeks with the ‘skeleton count’ already in double figures.

Related Links

As the story broke: http://www.edinburghcentre.org/news/ECCI-Knight

Our new building: http://www.edinburghcentre.org/our-new-building.html

Competition - Name the New Cafe: http://www.edinburghcentre.org/competition.html

History of High School Yards: http://www.edinburghcentre.org/History.html