At Least 277 Bodies Found Under British Tram Line
A mass graveyard containing the remains of at least 277 people has been discovered beneath an English city’s tram line.
Construction workers found the burial site, believed to date from the 18th century, while working on the expansion of the Metrolink line in Manchester city center.
After trawling through public records, archaeologists initially expected to find some 130 bodies at the Cross Street site, reports the Manchester Evening News (MEN). But they were stunned after unearthing more than double that amount, according to the Independent.
“This is the most amazing piece of history,” Manchester City Council spokesman Pat Karney told the MEN.
“The fact that twice the number of bodies had to be taken out just shows how historically important it is — as well as explaining the complications of putting a new tram line into the city center,” he added.
The uncovering of the cemetery in 2014 has caused something of a headache for project leaders. It’s meant that the Metrolink expansion has been delayed for almost a year. But Transport for Greater Manchester said that, although the find caused delays, its workers have managed to make time savings in other areas.
The excavation work on the burial site is now finished, and the exhumed remains — which are currently being analyzed by specialists in York — are set to be re-buried at Southern Cemetery in Chorlton next summer.
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