16th Century Skeleton Found Under a Playground

Shaunacy Ferro

Students at Edinburgh’s Victoria Primary School got quite the surprise when school administrators ordered a survey of the grounds in advance of a campus extension: a 600-year-old skeleton. Archaeologists carbon-dated the human remains found under the school playground to the 16th or 17th century.

The school’s neighborhood of Newhaven was, at that time, a fishing village and a port built especially for constructing King James IV’s warship Michael. Buried in a shallow, unmarked grave near the dockyard gallows, the man was likely executed or murdered. The Edinburgh city council’s press release suggests he might have been a pirate or some other criminal, since he was buried right next to the port rather in nearby graveyards.

The archaeologists, who created the above reconstruction of the man's face with a forensic artist, estimate that he died in his fifties.

[h/t: The Telegraph]

All images via City of Edinburgh Council