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Archaeologists Discover 20,000 ‘Lost Souls of Bedlam’ Under London Streets
ancientorigins.net ^ | 8-0-2013 | April Holloway

Posted on 08/11/2013 10:31:09 AM PDT by Renfield

Established in 1247, the notorious Bethlem (“Bedlam”) Royal Hospital was the first dedicated psychiatric institution in Europe and possibly the most famous specialist facility for care and control of the insane, so much so that the word ‘bedlam’ has long been synonymous with madness and chaos. Now, in a spectacular discovery, archaeologists have uncovered the asylum’s ancient graveyard right in the heart of London, revealing as many as 20,000 skeletons.

The 500-year-old graveyard was found during excavations to create a 13-mile high speed tunnel under Central London. Modern-day residents and visitors going about their busy daily lives have been oblivious to the fact that below them, under what is now Liverpool Street Station, the remains of thousands of Londoners including many patients from the Bedlam asylum were laid to rest.

“Everyone's been running around in Liverpool Street for years and not thinking that they've been walking around on bodies from one of the densest burial grounds in London,” said Nick Elsden, a Museum of London archaeologist.

The 16th-century burial ground was built on the original site of the Bethlem Hospital and as well as serving the hospital itself, it was also used to relieve the pressure from overcrowded cemeteries throughout London. It was particularly associated with religious non-conformists, as it was not attached to a church. One of the more famous individuals thought to be buried there is Robert Lockyer, a member of the radical Leveller movement, who was executed by firing squad at St Paul's Cathedral after leading an army mutiny in 1649. Archaeologists are hoping to find his remains amongst the 20,000 other individuals buried there.

The remains of around 4,000 people will have to be disinterred, and will be studied for clues about their lifestyle before being reburied elsewhere.

But thousands of bodies are not the only items to have been recovered from the dig. Incredibly, archaeologists have found everything from reindeer and mammoth bones dating back 68,000 years to a Mesolithic tool-making facility, numerous 2,000-year-old horseshoes, an entire stretch of Roman road, the remains of a Tudor manor house, medieval ice skates, an 800-year-old piece of a ship, and rare Roman coins.

'This site is a rare, perhaps unprecedented opportunity,' Mr Elsden said. 'This is a major roadway outside one of London's busiest railway stations. You don't get to dig that up normally.'


TOPICS: Health/Medicine; History; Science
KEYWORDS: archaeology; bethlemhospital; britain; godsgravesglyphs; levellermovement; liverpoolstreet; psychiatry; robertlockyer; romanempire; unitedkingdom

1 posted on 08/11/2013 10:31:09 AM PDT by Renfield
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To: SunkenCiv

Ping


2 posted on 08/11/2013 10:31:25 AM PDT by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
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To: Renfield

“a 13-mile high speed tunnel under Central London.”

What is this? I’m confused.


3 posted on 08/11/2013 10:37:43 AM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: Renfield

Oh, there’s a spooky Hollywood script in this!


4 posted on 08/11/2013 10:39:59 AM PDT by HokieMom (Pacepa : Can the U.S. afford a president who can't recognize anti-Americanism?)
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There are a few people missing on my family tree. Could somebody over there keep a watch for them?


5 posted on 08/11/2013 10:40:40 AM PDT by truth_seeker
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To: Renfield

I’m sure the contractors building Crossrail are thrilled to have their schedule interrupted by what could be a very long archaeological dig, by the sound of it.


6 posted on 08/11/2013 10:41:27 AM PDT by lump in the melting pot (Communism - a social experiment which, for ethical reasons, should not be performed on live humans)
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To: HokieMom

Boris Karloff, 1946.


7 posted on 08/11/2013 10:42:30 AM PDT by daler
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To: daler

Exactly! Too spooky for me. Yikes! I have a BS in Psychology so I’m intrigued by the discoveries and the history but can’t help think about the eeriness of what they’re working with. ooooOOOOOOoooooOOOOOO! :^)


8 posted on 08/11/2013 10:45:20 AM PDT by HokieMom (Pacepa : Can the U.S. afford a president who can't recognize anti-Americanism?)
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To: Renfield

It might be interesting if the Brit’s were to setup a few HD CCTV’s to live-stream these diggings. If not maybe we can get the NSA to live-stream it.


9 posted on 08/11/2013 10:45:43 AM PDT by fella ("As it was before Noah, so shall it be again,")
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To: Renfield

And to imagine that metropolitan areas the world over have all sorts of like things buried just under the ground.


10 posted on 08/11/2013 10:47:01 AM PDT by BradyLS (DO NOT FEED THE BEARS!)
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To: HokieMom

Yep...all the insane dead wake up, turn into Zombies, and run for Parliament. And win.


11 posted on 08/11/2013 10:49:09 AM PDT by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
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To: BradyLS

I have an issue of the National Geographic with a large feature dedicated to the miles of labyrinthine catacombs beneath the streets of Paris.


12 posted on 08/11/2013 10:49:17 AM PDT by BradyLS (DO NOT FEED THE BEARS!)
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To: Renfield

An excavation...mysterious skeletons...somehow, this rings a bell.

13 posted on 08/11/2013 10:51:08 AM PDT by Jonah Hex ("To Serve Manatee" is a cookbook!)
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To: Renfield

Mini-series!


14 posted on 08/11/2013 10:53:45 AM PDT by HokieMom (Pacepa : Can the U.S. afford a president who can't recognize anti-Americanism?)
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To: BradyLS

I have an interesting story regarding that.

I have a friend who is a Bohemian-starving-artist type (although I haven’t seen him in years). One day back in the mid-1980s I dropped by his house to see him. He had recently moved into that house after living for years with another friend of mine.

Upon entering his home, I noticed a human skull on the mantle....a real one, not a reproduction. I asked him for the story behind it.

“That’s my uncle”, he replied. It seems that the state of KY had decided to build a new big road right past Eastern State Mental Hospital, and in the process of construction, had uncovered the “pauper’s graveyard” associated with the facility. One day, out of the blue, my friend received a call from an employee of the KY Dept. of transportation, informing him that they had his uncle’s remains, and that as the next of kin, those remains were my friend’s responsibility. He took possession of the skull, and had them dispose of the, er, remainder of the remains.


15 posted on 08/11/2013 10:55:10 AM PDT by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

a 13-mile, high speed tunnel, under Central London.


16 posted on 08/11/2013 10:55:33 AM PDT by Ghost of SVR4 (So many are so hopelessly dependent on the government that they will fight to protect it.)
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To: Renfield
HISTORY OF THE INSANE IN THE BRITISH ISLES

Ten patients, he said, were at that moment in chains, and we may be sure that the number was much larger before public feeling had been aroused to demand investigation. "The ultimatum of our restraint," said Mr. Haslam, "is manacles, and a chain round the leg, or being chained by one arm; the strait waistcoat, for the best of reasons, is never employed by us." Mr. Haslam, when asked whether a violent patient could be safely trusted when[81] his fist and wrists were chained, replied, "Then he would be an innoxious animal." Patients, however, were frequently chained to the wall in addition to being manacled.

17 posted on 08/11/2013 10:58:05 AM PDT by Dysart (Control your destiny or someone else will. -- Jack Welch)
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To: All; SunkenCiv

A much more detailed article, with photos, is here:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2386683/Bedlam-graveyard-unearthed-beneath-City-London-Crossrail-dig-reveals-bones-patients-notorious-asylum.html


18 posted on 08/11/2013 10:58:26 AM PDT by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
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To: HokieMom

I saw “20,000 skeletons discovered under London” and thought it referring to victims of socialized medicine.


19 posted on 08/11/2013 11:02:34 AM PDT by heye2monn
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To: Renfield
But thousands of bodies are not the only items to have been recovered from the dig. Incredibly, archaeologists have found everything from reindeer and mammoth bones dating back 68,000 years to a Mesolithic tool-making facility, numerous 2,000-year-old horseshoes, an entire stretch of Roman road, the remains of a Tudor manor house, medieval ice skates, an 800-year-old piece of a ship, and rare Roman coins.

Descriptions most likely was the site of a garbage dump.

20 posted on 08/11/2013 11:04:12 AM PDT by piroque ("In times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act")
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To: Renfield
Okay, I'll bite.

How do you examine a 750-yr.-old skeleton and determine he/she was a mental patient?

21 posted on 08/11/2013 11:08:51 AM PDT by ZOOKER (Until further notice the /s is implied...)
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To: Ghost of SVR4

Ah! The writer has had his comma removed! Hope it wasn’t a painful operation, and I pray that he makes a complete recovery!


22 posted on 08/11/2013 11:15:29 AM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: ZOOKER
How do you examine a 750-yr.-old skeleton and determine he/she was a mental patient?

Use their DNA to track down their living descendants. If they vote labour or democrat, you have your answer!
23 posted on 08/11/2013 11:20:38 AM PDT by LostInBayport (When there are more people riding in the cart than there are pulling it, the cart stops moving...)
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To: Renfield

That would probably be an improvement. Can we make that happen in D.C. too.


24 posted on 08/11/2013 12:13:07 PM PDT by Stayingawayfromthedarkside
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To: heye2monn

“20,000 skeletons discovered under London”

Suddenly I can’t get the sound of multiple xylophones with really fast hammering on ‘dem chimes, out of my head.


25 posted on 08/11/2013 1:13:12 PM PDT by elcid1970 ("The Second Amendment is more important than Islam.")
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To: Renfield
Rather ironic that the Imperial War Museum now stands where the original Bethlem Royal Hospital stood.

Bedlam was moved to a new building in Moorfields in 1676.

While touring the Imperial War Museum, I couldn't help thing of the poor devils who spent time there.

26 posted on 08/11/2013 1:24:23 PM PDT by mware
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To: Renfield; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; ...

Thanks Renfield.

27 posted on 08/12/2013 4:00:41 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's no coincidence that some "conservatives" echo the hard left.)
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To: Renfield

For to see my Tom of Bedlam, 10,000 miles I’d travel
Mad Maudlin goes on dirty toes, to save her shoes from gravel.

Still I sing bonnie boys, bonnie mad boys,
Bedlam boys are bonnie
For they all go bare and they live by the air,
And they want no drink nor money.

I went down to Satin’s kitchen, for to beg me food one morning
There I got souls piping hot, all on the spit a turning.

There I picked up a cauldron, Where boiled 10,000 harlots
Though full of flame I drank the same, to the health of all such varlets.

My staff has murdered giants, my bag a long knife carries
For to cut mince pies from children’s thighs, with which to feed the fairies.

Spirits white as lightning, shall on my travels guide me
The moon would quake and the stars would shake, when’ ere they espied me.

No gypsy slut nor doxy, shall win my Mad Tom from me
I’ll weep all night, the stars I’ll fight, the fray will well become me.

It’s when next I have murdered, the Man-In-The-Moon to powder
His staff I’ll break, his dog I’ll bake, they’ll howl no demon louder.

So drink to Tom of Bedlam, he’ll fill the seas in barrels
I’ll drink it all, all brewed with gall, with Mad Maudlin I will travel.


28 posted on 08/12/2013 6:47:08 AM PDT by VR-21 (Next Stop, Willoughby.)
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To: Renfield

Thanks Renfield.


29 posted on 08/12/2013 6:51:59 AM PDT by fatima (Free Hugs Today :))
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To: VR-21

I have sung that song many times, as my Morris side gathered over pints of ale.


30 posted on 08/12/2013 7:41:01 AM PDT by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
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To: VR-21

Tom of Bedlam

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qo_TQ-Ia7Bs


31 posted on 08/12/2013 8:08:12 AM PDT by fatima (Free Hugs Today :))
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To: ZOOKER
" How do you examine a 750-yr.-old skeleton and determine he/she was a mental patient? "

Read the article. It says you can't determine mental illness in a skeleton. As well there's no burial records.

32 posted on 08/12/2013 8:16:14 AM PDT by mass55th (Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway...John Wayne)
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

“...to create a 13-mile, high-speed tunnel under Central London.”


33 posted on 08/12/2013 8:29:52 AM PDT by TheOldLady
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To: TheOldLady

See my post #22


34 posted on 08/12/2013 8:31:58 AM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

Oh! Beaten to the punch again. Sigh... Thanks.


35 posted on 08/12/2013 8:48:48 AM PDT by TheOldLady
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To: Renfield

Wake me up when they find a Dairy Queen.


36 posted on 08/12/2013 8:49:31 AM PDT by Stentor
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To: TheOldLady

NBD! 8^)


37 posted on 08/12/2013 8:49:43 AM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: HokieMom
Oh, there’s a spooky Hollywood script in this!

As long as they aren't digging near Hobbs End.

Extra points to the first to cite the reference...

38 posted on 08/12/2013 8:56:18 AM PDT by null and void (Frequent terrorist attacks OR endless government snooping and oppression? Soon we'll have both!)
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To: Renfield
"I have sung that song many times, as my Morris side gathered over pints of ale."

I'm a bit slow on the uptake today, and was envisioning somebody drinking ale while Morris dancing. I did eventually figure out that you were just talking about part of your family. May you and your "Morris side" sing forever, with glasses full. Cheers Renfield!

39 posted on 08/12/2013 8:56:23 AM PDT by VR-21 (Next Stop, Willoughby.)
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To: Jonah Hex

Darn you.


40 posted on 08/12/2013 8:57:05 AM PDT by null and void (Frequent terrorist attacks OR endless government snooping and oppression? Soon we'll have both!)
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To: fatima

An excellent version for my collection. Thank you Fatima!


41 posted on 08/12/2013 9:03:57 AM PDT by VR-21 (Next Stop, Willoughby.)
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To: heye2monn

I saw “20,000 skeletons discovered under London” and thought it referring to victims of socialized medicine.....Actually, it is. Philadelphia State Hospital was originally built back in the 1600’s as a farm to put drunks, Indians and retards out of the way of ‘normal’ society. They were chained, worked as slaves and many other sanctioned abuses. The farmer picked them up and took them to work which gave them a modicum of worth. Didn’t cost the taxpayer much until the Dems hired Union workers in the ‘60’s. The level of care and living conditions actually decreased then. Modern medicine (used facetiously) didn’t catch up in Philly State ever since that happened. A famous movie starlet had her daughter put in there ( I want to say Olivia Dehaviland, but I can’t be sure. I saw the records 30 years ago)and she was raped continuosley by the staff.


42 posted on 08/12/2013 9:32:53 AM PDT by Safetgiver ( Islam makes barbarism look genteel.)
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To: null and void
...hehe...

;-)

43 posted on 08/12/2013 10:37:32 AM PDT by Jonah Hex ("To Serve Manatee" is a cookbook!)
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To: Jonah Hex

I was going for 5 Million Years to Earth, but Quatermass and the Pit was plenty close enough.


44 posted on 08/12/2013 10:47:04 AM PDT by null and void (Frequent terrorist attacks OR endless government snooping and oppression? Soon we'll have both!)
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To: Safetgiver

Thanks for the depressing glimpse of our medical past — and likely future under Obamacare :-)


45 posted on 08/12/2013 4:33:59 PM PDT by heye2monn
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