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Durham University

Special Collections

Family Activities at Palace Green Library

Bodies of Evidence: How science unearthed Durham’s dark secret

9th June 2018, 10:00 to 7th October 2018, 17:00, Palace Green Library

Every city has its secrets and Durham is no exception.

In November 2013, two mass burials were discovered in an area being developed as a new café for Palace Green Library. After over 350 years, a team of archaeologists from Durham University were able to confirm that the burials were some of a group of Scottish prisoners who died following the Battle of Dunbar in 1650. Find out how different pieces of a complex jigsaw of evidence were pieced together to establish the identity of the bodies, the science behind the discoveries, and the remarkable story of the survivors, some of whom were transported to New England to a new life at the edge of the known world.

Bodies of Evidence brings together material from collections across the UK and beyond. The exhibition shows how Durham University scientists working with colleagues at Bradford, York and Liverpool John Moores universities used the latest scientific techniques to reveal more about the soldiers’ story – how they lived, why they died, and what became of those who survived.

For more information about the Scottish soldiers research project, view the project trailer created by Durham University's Department of Archaeology here. You can also find out more about the project on the Scottish soldiers website.

The exhibition does not include any of the Scottish soldiers' remains; these have been reburied and will not be displayed.

A full programme of related activities is running alongside this exhibition, from talks and city walks, to family activities and musical events. Check our What's On page or pick up our events programme during your visit.

Ticket prices*:

Adults: £7.50

Durham University staff and students: Free

Children (over 5) and concessions**: £6.50

Carers: Free

Infants (under 5; up to 2 per full paying adult): Free

Family ticket (2 paying adults and 2 children): £25

Groups of 9 or more: £6.50 per person

* Your ticket allows for a further two free visits to the exhibition. Tickets are available on the door.

** The concessionary rate is for those below the age of 16 and over 60. This rate also applies to members of the following: Non-Durham University students; International Congress of Museums (ICOM); Society of Field Archaeologists (ACFA); Museums Association (MA); Society of Archivists; Council for British Archaeology (CBA); Turner & Townsend employees; Delegates of DigNation Festival of Archaeology.

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