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Archaeologists have found 17 skeletons in the territory of the Welsh monastery, devastated by Henry VIII

Archaeologists have found 17 skeletons in the territory of the Welsh monastery devastated by Henry VIII

(ORDO NEWS) — British archaeologists in Pembrokeshire, west Wales, have unearthed the remains of 17 skeletons in what they believe belonged to the monastery of the Holy Savior before reform king Henry VIII seized their property. This is reported by the publication Live Science.

“The friary existed from the mid-1200s until it collapsed in 1536-1541,” Fran Murphy, head of the Dyfed Archaeological Trust, the organization behind the excavations.

In the last years of the monastery’s existence, Henry VIII, King of England and Wales, ordered the confiscation and sale of many church properties. This happened after he severed relations with the Catholic Church.

The medieval monastery of the Holy Savior, which was inhabited by Dominican monks, “black monks”, distinguished by the black color of their clothes, was no exception in this sense.

According to Murphy, the crown sold all their property, but part of it, in particular, the burial ground that belonged to the monastery, remained untouched until the 17th century.

“We don’t know for sure if these remains belong to the monks, since a variety of people were often buried in the monastery cemeteries,” Murphy explained.

She noted that excavations are ongoing, and a detailed osteological study of the skeletons has not yet been carried out.

“There is nothing superfluous in the graves,” Murphy added, noting that this is consistent with the Christian customs of medieval Europeans: “Nothing can be taken with you to the afterlife.” There were only shrouds on the buried, and the arms of all the skeletons were crossed on the chest.

During the Middle Ages (approximately 500 to 1500 AD), monasteries were popular places for burial. Initially, the monastic cemeteries were intended only for the monks themselves, but quickly became popular places for the burial of the laity.

The current excavations are taking place ahead of major construction in the area, with plans to build a three-story grocery store with a bar and a rooftop terrace in the area.


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