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Crossrail digging unearths ancient London burial ground

Tunnelling project’s chief archaeologist says up to 4,000 bodies of plague victims and asylum inmates may be discovered
Every day hordes of London commuters have passed unknowingly over the bodies of thousands of their predecessors, buried a few metres under the roaring traffic and rumbling trains at Liverpool Street, and which are now being exposed for the first time by the huge Crossrail construction project.

An archaeologist unearths a human skull at the Crossrail building site at London's Liverpool Street station. Photograph: Martin Godwin
An archaeologist unearths a human skull at the Crossrail building site at London’s Liverpool Street station. Photograph: Martin Godwin

The bodies include those of mentally ill patients from Bethlem, the ancient and notorious asylum from which the word Bedlam entered the English language. Bodies that were never claimed by their families – often those of beaten, starved and exploited inmates – would have ended up in the burial ground alongside rich and poor, old and young, victims of plague and war, from across London.
The walled, two-acre burial ground was opened in the mid-17th century by order of the mayor of London. It was the first built away from the city’s parish churches and their bursting, grossly overfilled graveyards and was usually known as Bedlam.
http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/aug/08/crossrail-tunnelling-unearths-burial-ground-bedlam

About Egidius Kuhlmann

Reading about peak-oil, overpopulation, “Terra Preta” and biochar in 2009 and after making batches biochar for soil improvement from garden residue, I thought, why not make biochar from corpses. Deeply worried about the unsustainable path 'we' as humanity have taken, I see a future where fossil fuels are scarce, the western economic growth model in tatters, the global temperature rises due to the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere with an growing population reaching billions more humans than is sustainable? Thinking along those paths, the question “how can we dispose so efficiently and with the least amount of energy of human remains” became the starting point.
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