Europe is full of old stuff. So many old things are so old that it’s not a surprise to people when records are misplaced, and memories lost to time. That just so happens to have been the case under the floor of St. Mary’s Church in London. While renovating the church in order to turn it into a Garden Museum, construction workers uncovered a 300-400 year old tomb under the alter that contained numerous coffins.
— Garden Museum (@GardenMuseumLDN) April 16, 2017
These weren’t just anyone’s coffins either, included under the most sacred spot of the Church were the bodies of probably five Archbishops of Canterbury. I say what could be five because of an interesting phenomenon of burring human bodies in old lead coffins – the bodies decompose into a black viscous liquid appropriately called coffin liquor. That sounds lovely doesn’t it?
If that wasn’t enough, I think the greatest part of this entire thing is the fact that the contractors, and the researchers and everyone involved managed to keep this thing a secret for nearly an entire year. That’s right, they uncovered this find months ago, did research, entered the tomb to see if it was stable, identified the remains as best they could, and then, on Easter Sunday, released the findings to the greater world. Impressive.
It makes you wonder, that scene from The Last Crusade in Venice, how many other ancient Churches in Europe have hidden treasures beneath their floors?
Here’s a quick video that describes the situation, and the luck of the find: