British builders working on the Crossrail project were surprised last week to discover 13 skeletons, lying in two orderly rows, buried about 8 feet underground, beneath one of the busiest parts of London . Experts believe the skeletons have been lying beneath the feet of commuters for over 700 years and are thought to be victims of The Black Plague (aka The Black Death), the plague which killed over a quarter of the British population between 1348 and 1350. The orderly arrangement of the remains , which were found in two neat rows inside a 20-foot-wide shaft at the edge of Charterhouse Square in Farringdon, suggests that they date from the earlier period of the plague, before it became a pandemic and before bodies were thrown randomly into mass graves.
The skeletonized bodies were discovered in an area of London where experts believe many more bodies were buried. John Stow, the 16th century historian, wrote in his 1598 Survey of London that 50,000 bodies were buried in what was then “no man’s land”.