Coffin dug up at former Lincoln car park

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A medieval coffin has been unearthed at the site of the former Grantham Street car park in Lincoln.

Archaeologists working on the site uncovered the sarcophagus under thick layers of rubble – which is believed to have remained in tact over hundreds of years.

While carefully removing the layers of rubble in sequence, the archaeological team found the foundations of a fifteenth-century stone building next to a cobbled surface.

The stone coffin had been set in the ground next to the building with stones laid neatly around its edge and level with the cobbles.

Stone coffins were used in medieval times, but the style of this one was unusual.

The original purpose of the central hole of the coffin would have been to allow liquids from the decomposing body to flow out of the coffin into the ground so as to avoid sanitary and health problems.

But the three holes at the foot end were probably drilled later, to speed up drainage when it was used for its new purpose.

There have also been many medieval and post-medieval finds including pottery and metalwork, which will help fill in the details of the story of the site.

Dominic Jackson director at Jackson & Jackson Developments told CityX: “Another find on one of our city centre sites.

“Working closely with our archaeologists and the city team to ensure the coffin is removed in one piece – we’ve brought in specialist equipment to allow this.

“We’re told it was a redundant coffin, likely never used or re-used in a different format.”

Following the archeological dig by Network Archaeology, Jackson and Jackson Developments will build a six-storey complex which includes student accommodation and a ground-floor NCP car park.

Photo: Network Archaeology

The six-storey building will incorporate 118 student rooms and a NCP car park, which will include 24 spaces, and a further two disabled bays.

This comes just months after human skeletons were unearthed at the site of the Viking House development in Lincoln.

As previously reported, bones, which archeologists believe date back to Roman times, were found on site in June.

Archaeologists discovered an array of artefacts at the site including:

  • Cobbled roads
  • Medieval walls
  • Roman fire pits
  • Two Roman skeletons

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