Exercise Magwich 2017 has proved to be our most exciting project to date with archaeology that far exceeded our expectations on all accounts.
May saw BGH participants engaged on Operation Nightingales latest project to recover human remains from Burrow Island that had been slowly eroding from the earth over the past few years. These remains could have been from several historical time periods: Napoleonic French POW's, convicts from Portsmouths prison hulks or some unknown event however regardless of historical context these remains needed recovering respectfully for reburial in a more stable site.
Over the course of the week and with the help of Cranfield Forensic Institute, Wessesx Archaeology and the British Army Royal Military Police Special Investigation Branch we conducted excavations on the burials, discovering some clues to the identification of the inhumations and gaining some invaluable forensic recovery training in the process.
The team were also tasked to discover the relationship (if indeed there was one) with the cemetery and Fort James that once sat proud upon the Island, acting as a defence to the Solent.
With the excavations now complete, the hard work will begin to piece this puzzle together. We will be conducting post excavation work at Cranfield Forensic Institute in the coming months to determine age, sex, stature and any other information we can from the skeletons which include Isotope analysis and a full facial reconstruction of one of the skulls.
If you would like to get involved in the post excavation work on the skeletons then please get in touch.