Hundreds of skeletons unearthed at London construction site

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Hundreds of skeletons unearthed at London construction site
Archeologists have excavated hundreds of skeletons at London's Liverpool Street, as part of a dig for the city's new Crossrail line.
Archaeologists excavate the 16th and 17th century Bedlam burial ground uncovered by work on the new Crossrail train line next to Liverpool Street station in London, Friday, March 6, 2015. The excavation team estimate there to be 3,000 human skeletons at the site, which was a burial ground to the then adjacent Bedlam Hospital, the world's first psychiatric asylum. The 118-kilometer (73-mile) Crossrail project to put a new rail line from west to east London is Britain's biggest construction project and the largest archeological dig in London for decades. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Archaeologists excavate the 16th and 17th century Bedlam burial ground uncovered by work on the new Crossrail train line next to Liverpool Street station in London, Friday, March 6, 2015. The excavation team estimate there to be 3,000 human skeletons at the site, which was a burial ground to the then adjacent Bedlam Hospital, the world's first psychiatric asylum. The 118-kilometer (73-mile) Crossrail project to put a new rail line from west to east London is Britain's biggest construction project and the largest archeological dig in London for decades. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Archaeologists excavate the 16th and 17th century Bedlam burial ground uncovered by work on the new Crossrail train line next to Liverpool Street station in London, Friday, March 6, 2015. The excavation team estimate there to be 3,000 human skeletons at the site, which was a burial ground to the then adjacent Bedlam Hospital, the world's first psychiatric asylum. The 118-kilometer (73-mile) Crossrail project to put a new rail line from west to east London is Britain's biggest construction project and the largest archeological dig in London for decades. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Two adult skulls lie next to each other on the archeological excavation site at the 16th and 17th century Bedlam burial ground, uncovered by work on the new Crossrail train line next to Liverpool Street station in London, Friday, March 6, 2015. The excavation team estimate there to be 3,000 human skeletons at the site, which was a burial ground to the then adjacent Bedlam Hospital, the world's first psychiatric asylum. The 118-kilometer (73-mile) Crossrail project to put a new rail line from west to east London is Britain's biggest construction project and the largest archeological dig in London for decades. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
A skeleton lies in the ground on the archeological excavation site at the 16th and 17th century Bedlam burial ground, uncovered by work on the new Crossrail train line next to Liverpool Street station in London, Friday, March 6, 2015. The excavation team estimate there to be 3,000 human skeletons at the site, which was a burial ground to the then adjacent Bedlam Hospital, the world's first psychiatric asylum. The 118-kilometer (73-mile) Crossrail project to put a new rail line from west to east London is Britain's biggest construction project and the largest archeological dig in London for decades. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Archaeologists excavate the 16th and 17th century Bedlam burial ground uncovered by work on the new Crossrail train line next to Liverpool Street station in London, Friday, March 6, 2015. The excavation team estimate there to be 3,000 human skeletons at the site, which was a burial ground to the then adjacent Bedlam Hospital, the world's first psychiatric asylum. The 118-kilometer (73-mile) Crossrail project to put a new rail line from west to east London is Britain's biggest construction project and the largest archeological dig in London for decades. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Two adult skulls lie next to each other on the archeological excavation site at the 16th and 17th century Bedlam burial ground, uncovered by work on the new Crossrail train line next to Liverpool Street station in London, Friday, March 6, 2015. The excavation team estimate there to be 3,000 human skeletons at the site, which was a burial ground to the then adjacent Bedlam Hospital, the world's first psychiatric asylum. The 118-kilometer (73-mile) Crossrail project to put a new rail line from west to east London is Britain's biggest construction project and the largest archeological dig in London for decades. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Embargoed to 1930 Monday March 9 An adult and a baby skeleton lay uncovered at the Bedlam burial ground where over 20,000 Londoners are believed to have been buried between 1569 and 1738, archaeologists from MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) are currently working on the site and the excavation will allow the construction of East entrance of the New Liverpool St. Crossrail Ticket station, Liverpool Street, London.
Embargoed to 1930 Monday March 9 Two adult skulls lay uncovered at the Bedlam burial ground where over 20,000 Londoners are believed to have been buried between 1569 and 1738, archaeologists from MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) are currently working on the site and the excavation will allow the construction of East entrance of the New Liverpool St. Crossrail Ticket station, Liverpool Street, London.
Embargoed to 1930 Monday March 9 An adult skeleton lays uncovered at the Bedlam burial ground where over 20,000 Londoners are believed to have been buried between 1569 and 1738, archaeologists from MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) are currently working on the site and the excavation will allow the construction of East entrance of the New Liverpool St. Crossrail Ticket station, Liverpool Street, London.
Embargoed to 1930 Monday March 9 Archaeologists from MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) work at the Bedlam burial ground where over 20,000 Londoners are believed to have been buried between 1569 and 1738, the excavation will allow the construction of East entrance of the New Liverpool St. Crossrail Ticket station, Liverpool Street, London.
Embargoed to 1930 Monday March 9 An archaeologist from MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) at work on the Bedlam burial ground where over 20,000 Londoners are believed to have been buried between 1569 and 1738, the excavation will allow the construction of East entrance of the New Liverpool St. Crossrail Ticket station, Liverpool Street, London.
Embargoed to 1930 Monday March 9 An archaeologist from MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) works at the Bedlam burial ground, where over 20,000 Londoners are believed to have been buried between 1569 and 1738, the excavation will allow the construction of East entrance of the New Liverpool St. Crossrail Ticket station, Liverpool Street, London.
Embargoed to 1930 Monday March 9 Crossrail lead archaeologist Jay Carver poses at the Bedlam burial ground, where over 20,000 Londoners are believed to have been buried between 1569 and 1738, as the excavation will allow the construction of East entrance of the New Liverpool St. Crossrail Ticket station, Liverpool Street, London.
Embargoed to 1930 Monday March 9 Archaeologists from MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) at work on the Bedlam burial ground where over 20,000 Londoners are believed to have been buried between 1569 and 1738, the excavation will allow the construction of East entrance of the New Liverpool St. Crossrail Ticket station, Liverpool Street, London.
Embargoed to 1930 Monday March 9 Two adult skulls lay uncovered at the Bedlam burial ground where over 20,000 Londoners are believed to have been buried between 1569 and 1738, archaeologists from MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) are currently working on the site and the excavation will allow the construction of East entrance of the New Liverpool St. Crossrail Ticket station, Liverpool Street, London.
Embargoed to 1930 Monday March 9 Archaeologists from MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) work on the excavation site at the Bedlam burial ground where over 20,000 Londoners are believed to have been buried between 1569 and 1738, the excavation will allow the construction of the East entrance of the New Liverpool St. Crossrail Ticket station, Liverpool Street, London.
Embargoed to 1930 Monday March 9 Archaeologists from MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) work on the excavation site at the Bedlam burial ground where over 20,000 Londoners are believed to have been buried between 1569 and 1738, the excavation will allow the construction of the East entrance of the New Liverpool St. Crossrail Ticket station, Liverpool Street, London.
Embargoed to 1930 Monday March 9 Archaeologists from MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) work at the Bedlam burial ground where over 20,000 Londoners are believed to have been buried between 1569 and 1738, the excavation will allow the construction of East entrance of the New Liverpool St. Crossrail Ticket station, Liverpool Street, London.
Embargoed to 1930 Monday March 9 Archaeologists from MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) at work on the Bedlam burial ground where over 20,000 Londoners are believed to have been buried between 1569 and 1738, the excavation will allow the construction of East entrance of the New Liverpool St. Crossrail Ticket station, Liverpool Street, London.
Embargoed to 1930 Monday March 9 Archaeologists from MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) at work on the Bedlam burial ground where over 20,000 Londoners are believed to have been buried between 1569 and 1738, the excavation will allow the construction of East entrance of the New Liverpool St. Crossrail Ticket station, Liverpool Street, London.
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An excavation in London has turned up hundreds of skeletons from a burial ground dating back hundreds of years.

It's the site of the Bedlam burial ground, which served as a final resting place for thousands of Londoners from the 16th century through the 18th century.

"Over a period of 200 years were up to 20,000 Londoners, of all different types. And where we're going to excavate the last remaining part of that burial ground where we think we're going to find another 3,000 or so," Crossrail's Jay Carver told London Live.

The burial ground was used during the Great Plague of London in the mid-1600s, an outbreak that killed an estimated quarter of the city's population.

The excavation is part of the Crossrail construction project, which is building a new train line that will stretch from west to east across the city.

Basically, because London, especially central London, is so old, it's pretty hard to dig in the city without finding something.

For example, at the Liverpool Street site where the burial grounds are, the archeologists expect to find Roman suburbs, which would date back to the city's very earliest history as a Roman settlement.

The project dug up another plague burial site last year at Charterhouse Square, about a mile west of the Liverpool Street site - although that was a different plague, the 14th century's Black Death pandemic.

If you're wondering, yes, London's had a lot of plagues: The Museum of London estimates the city saw one every 20 years or so between the 14th and 17th centuries and didn't really stop until most of the city burned down in 1666's great fire.

So in that respect, it's not surprising that the project keeps digging up bones: What might be surprising is the scale of Crossrail's archaeological endeavor.

The project has archeological digs at each of its more than 40 construction sites and has organized educational ventures as well, including school visits to the dig sites.

But the Crossrail project has faced criticism for not paying as much respect to recent history. Multiple historic concert venues have been demolished in the process, including the London Astoria, which hosted Radiohead, Nirvana and the Smashing Pumpkins, among others. (Video via Lobster Pictures)

Archeologists at the Liverpool Street dig site hope to identify some prominent individuals among the skeletons there, including a former mayor of London.

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