19th century convict graves found near Portsmouth
|A presumed 19th century skeleton found at Rat Island [Credit: MOD]|
"It’s always exciting being part of a rapid reaction force," said Richard Osgood, the senior archaeologist for the Defence Infrastructure Organisation behind the two-day excavation.
"We were only told about it three days before we needed to get to the site and establish exactly what had been found. It is important for the Organisation to undertake proper stewardship of the cultural heritage of the Ministry of Defence's estate.
"It was great having recovering soldiers from Operation Nightingale [in Afghanistan] on the team. It's rewarding that this programme to help soldiers wounded in Afghanistan recover and gain new skills is proving to be so successful for them and helpful to my team."
The individuals are thought to have been French or American.
In a joint statement, Dr Nicholas Marquez-Grant and Dr Kelly Domoney, of the Forensic Institute at Cranfield University, which will also analyse the remains, called the discoveries "a great opportunity".
"Our small team of forensic archaeologists and anthropologists were privileged enough to provide an input into search and identification of human remains on site," they said.
"Post-excavation work in our laboratories should contribute to shedding light on the living conditions of those individuals and the history of Rat Island."
Author: Ben Miller | Source: Culture24 [March 19, 2014]