17 April 2007
A service was held today in the heart of the City of London to return the remains of a Roman girl to her original resting place by the Swiss Re Tower, 30 St Mary Axe.
The service, attended by the Lady Mayoress of the City of London, took place at St Botolphs Church in Aldgate and was followed by a procession to the burial site at Bury Street, EC3, where there was a dedication with music and libations.
In 1995 archaeological investigations were carried out on the site of the Baltic Exchange, now known as the site of 30 St Mary Axe. During these investigations, the body of the young Roman was found and removed to the Museum of London. Buried over 1600 years ago, between AD 350 and 400, today she was finally returned to her original resting place twelve years after she was first discovered and removed from the City of London.
The reburial brings together Londoners across the centuries and is a poignant reminder of the many incarnations of the City, and the continued resonance of voices from its past.
Taryn Nixon, Managing Director of the Museum of London Archaeology Service said: This individual reburial is a very human gesture. While we will probably never know precisely who this young Roman Londoner was, it is an elegant and fitting reminder of the City's rich layers of history, for Londoners of today and tomorrow."
Notes to Editors
About the young Roman Londoner
The work uncovered - among other Roman remains - a human burial dated to the late 4th century AD. The skeleton was that of a young person of around 13-17 years of age, probably a young woman, and although some fragments of human skull were found nearby this appeared to be an isolated burial and not part of a cemetery.
The burial would have lain just outside an early boundary ditch marking the edge of the Roman city. The body was supine, with the head to the south and the arms folded across the body (with the right forearm over the left). Pottery found in association with the burial has been dated to AD 350-400.
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