In 1995, the remains of a Roman girl were found in the City of London, at the location of The Gherkin. Little is known about the girl and her history. But what can be shared about her, you will find in this post.
IRA attack on Baltic Exchange
On 10 April 1992 an IRA bomb exploded at the Baltic Exchange in the City of London. Severe damage to buildings and the loss of three lives is the tragic outcome of this attack. Details and background information on this attack can be found on the Wikipedia page.
Archaeological investigations at the site of the tragedy
Before the land was released for reconstruction, the Museum of London was allowed to carry out archaeological investigations. In 1995 they discovered the remains of a human skeleton.
The grave of the Roman girl
After examinations and analyses it can be said that the skeleton found is female. The girl lived between 350 and 400 BC and was between 13 and 17 years old. More cannot be found out. It is unclear whether she was rich or poor. Was she a slave or a rich Roman? What did she die of and why was she buried here of all places? Why was she buried alone and far away from other Roman burial sites? All these questions remain unanswered.
New burial site near The Gherkin
After the museum’s investigations, the skeleton was supposed to be buried again at the site where it was found. But this was not possible anymore, because in the meantime The Gherkin (30 St. Mary Axe) was built. Therefore, the remains were buried behind this prominent landmark in 2007. Today the Roman teenager rests under a black marble slab, which is part of the marble benches in Bury Street. The inscription in Latin and English reads “To the spirits of the dead / the unknown young girl / from Roman London / lies buried here.”
Next time you are in the area, why not take a seat on one of the benches and enjoy the peace and quiet in the midst of the dizzying City of London. And think of the unknown Roman girl who has found her final resting place here.
Can’t get enough of Roman London? How about a visit to the Mithraneum then? The former temple can be visited for free and impresses with a light installation that rebuilds the Roman temple.
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