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The limited written records suggest up to 50,000 people may have been buried in less than three years in the hastily established cemetery, with the burial ground used up until the 1500s.Despite significant development in the Farringdon area over the centuries, the burial ground, described in historical records as “no man’s land”, has never been located.During the past two weeks, Crossrail’s archaeologists uncovered 23 skeletons 2.5 metres below the road that surrounds the gardens in Charterhouse Square.
Crossrail services are due to commence through central London in 2018.
These are not the first skeletons found on the Crossrail project, with archaeologists already uncovering more than 300 burials at the New Cemetery near the site of the Bedlam Hospital at Liverpool Street from the 1500s to 1700s. The skeletons have been found 2.5 metres below the road.
Archaeologists also hope to find Roman artefacts as they dig deeper.
The scientists are hoping to map the DNA signature of the Plague bacteria and possibly contribute to the discussion regarding what caused the Black Death.
The bones may also be radio carbon dated to try and establish the burial dates. After 650 years, only the skeleton bones remain and do not present any modern-day health risk.
Crossrail Lead Archaeologist Jay Carver said: “This is a highly significant discovery and at the moment we are left with many questions that we hope to answer.