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Bodies of Evidence: How Science Unearthed Durham’s Dark Secret
June 9, 2018 @ 10:00 am - October 7, 2018 @ 5:00 pm£6.50 – £7.50
The story of the Scottish soldiers, whose remains were discovered in two mass burial sites in Durham city centre in 2013, will be told in a new exhibition opening this summer.
The exhibition, entitled Bodies of Evidence: How Science Unearthed Durham’s Dark Secret, shows how the latest scientific techniques have revealed the soldiers’ story – how they lived, why they died, and what became of those who survived.
Their skeletons were discovered during excavations in Durham in November 2013 and, for the first time, visitors to Durham University’s Palace Green Library will come face to face with a 3D reconstruction of the face of one of these men, who lived and died more than 300 years ago.
The exhibition shows how a multi-disciplinary team at Durham University pieced together evidence to establish details about the identities, lives and appearance of the soldiers, who were imprisoned and died in Durham following the Battle of Dunbar in 1650.
The exhibition explains how archaeologists from Durham University used analysis of the remains alongside study of historical documents from the period to establish details about the soldiers’ lives including where they were born, what their health and diets were like and why they died.
The exhibition also examines what life was like for soldiers and civilians during the civil wars in the 1600s. The stories of survivors of the battle are also unearthed, including those who were sent to the USA to work as indentured servants, many of whom have descendants alive today.
The exhibition includes a 3D depiction of the face of one of the soldiers, created by researchers at Face Lab, part of Liverpool John Moores University, using one of the excavated skulls along with evidence provided by the Durham University archaeology team. Face Lab specialises in the reconstruction of faces for archaeological and forensic purposes.
Bodies of Evidence: How Science Unearthed Durham’s Dark Secret will be on show at Durham University’s Palace Green Library from 9 June to 7 October 2018.
A series of talks and events will complement the exhibition, including a touring play called Woven Bones, produced by Cap-a-Pie theatre company in partnership with Durham University. Full details are available at www.durham.ac.uk/palace.green.
An admission charge of £7.50, or £6.50 for concessions, applies, which allows two additional visits. Discounted rates are available for groups of nine or more.
This project has been supported by Arts Council England the Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust, Intimation Creative Limited, North East England Chamber of Commerce, Scots’ Charitable Society, Sir James Knott Trust and Turner & Townsend Limited.