The skeletal remains of a young Medieval girl were found face down with the ankles possibly tied. Archaeologist believe these extra measures were taken to ensure she would not “return” from her grave. According to the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA), the remains were found in the pit of an Early Medieval settlement near Conington. skeleton
The original excavation was between 2016 and 2018, but the skeleton was only recently examined.
MOLA speculates that the medieval girl was of a lower class and treated as an “other,” by the means she was buried. Early Medieval England may not have had set burial traditions, but it was common for bodies to be buried facing upward. “To be buried face-down is thought to have been a social expression of “otherness,” a burial practice reserved for people considered outside of Early Medieval society,” MOLA said.
Bone specialist at MOLA found evidence to suggest the girl was of low social status and died suddenly, or unexpectedly. Her bones did not show signs of long, serious illness, however she did suffer childhood malnutrition. The analysis of her spine shows she also had spinal joint disease, which could have worsened with manual labor.
Radiocarbon dating of the skeleton reveals the girl died between 680 AD and 880 AD. Archaeological work at the site suggests the settlement ended during the 8th, or 9th century. Interestingly, the skeleton was discovered near the placement of an Early Medieval gatehouse. Specifically, the pit she was found in once held a large wooden post for the entry gate to an enclosed area.
I may not be an archaeologist, but I do find it odd that this girl was buried with her ankles possibly tied. Perhaps her burial was done so due to religious speculations of her sudden death being supernatural. We’ve seen other examples of such discoveries recently, such as the possible vampire in Poland.