On Monday, the first sign that something was wrong for the bricklayer doing repairs on the old Mount St. Bernard Abbey in Leicestershire, England was the two femur bones linked by a rusty wire protruding from the masonry .
Upon closer inspection, he and the rest of the crew then saw a cavity in the ancient wall that was filled with human bones, which appear to have been carefully hidden around the time of the charter construction. the abbey in 1860.
“Upon removing some of them, it soon became apparent, to his shock, that they were human bones,” the abbey said in a statement to the Daily Beast about the grim find. “Upon closer inspection, we could see that they had been used for an anatomical display as some of them were wired or screwed together and numbered.
The bones are believed to come from two people, but they do not form two complete skeletons, which begs the question of where the other parts of the body are. “There were already a few bones outside, but when we shone a torch through the hole, we saw a lot more,” said the abbot of the monastery, Father Joseph Delargy. “What was really scary was that some were still connected together, making the hands and feet recognizable.
Police called to the scene immediately ruled out any criminal activity, but abbey records do not indicate any sort of historical display of skeletons or other exhibits in which bones were allegedly wired together for any purpose. . “We contacted the police and after a thorough assessment of the situation, they were satisfied that these were bones related for educational or medical purposes and were not related to any crime,” said the abbey. .
The monks who live in the Trappist monastery plan to put the bones back into the wall cavity after the work is completed and build a monument since anyone who put them there 160 years ago likely had a reason to do so. “The mystery is what the bones were doing there; who put them there and when? said the abbey in its statement.
“One theory is that maybe when the chapter house was being built, we were contacted by an educational institution or a hospital that no longer had any use for bones, asking if we could bury them properly. », Says the communiqué of the abbey, even if there would have been a large cemetery in the cemeteries instead of hiding them in the masonry.
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