Image Gallery: Ancient Roman Cemetery Unearthed

Parking lot surprise

roman cemetery unearthed beneath Leicester parking lot

(Image credit: University of Leicester Archaeological Services)

University of Leicester archaeologists discovered a 1,700-year-old Roman cemetery beneath a parking lot in Leicester. So far, they have found numerous burials and the skeletal remains of 13 individuals, both male and female and of various ages. The burials also show a range of religious beliefs, with a very pagan burial adjacent to a very Christian one. Here, a view across the site showing the spread of medieval pits. [Read the Full Story]

Christian burial

The Roman cemetery unearthed in Leicester, England, included pagan and Christian burials, Here, a Christian burial being excavated.

(Image credit: University of Leicester Archaeological Services)

One Christian burial included a Roman individual who was facing east and wearing a polished finger ring made of jet on the left hand. Here, the Christian burial under excavation. [Read the Full Story]

The ring

an early christian ring found at a burial in a roman cemetery.

(Image credit: University of Leicester Archaeological Services)

The design etched onto that ring, "IX," may have been an artistic design or could represent an early Christian symbol taken from the initials of Jesus Christ in Greek, known as Iota-Chi, or IX. "If so this would represent rare evidence for a personal statement of belief from this period," said archaeological project officer John Thomas. [Read the Full Story]

Roman burials

Two Roman burials being excavated from beneath a parking lot in Leicester, England.

(Image credit: University of Leicester Archaeological Services)

Here, two Roman burials under excavation. From the mix of burial types, it's possible "that the cemetery catered for a range of beliefs that would have been important to people living in Leicester at this time," Thomas said. [Read the Full Story]

Skeleton Richard III

skeleton of what may be king richard iii

(Image credit: University of Leicester)

Parking lots seem to be great places to look for bones these days. In February, archaeologists announced bones excavated from underneath a parking lot in Leicester, "beyond reasonable doubt," belong to the lost and vilified English king Richard III. His remains are shown here.

Skull of King Richard III

skull of what may be King Richard III

(Image credit: University of Leicester)

The skull of the skeleton found at the Grey Friars excavation in Leicester, identified as that of King Richard III.


skeletons being unearthed at an excavation of a medieval knight's tomb

(Image credit: Headland Archaeology)

More recently, the skeletal remains of a medieval knight and possibly his family crypt were unearthed from beneath a parking lot in Scotland.


The headstone of a medieval knight unearthed in Scotland

(Image credit: Headland Archaeology/ Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation)

This carved slab, thought to be the headstone of a medieval knight, was found under a parking lot in Edinburgh. Now researchers say they have unearthed what may be the knight's family.

Jeanna Bryner
Live Science Editor-in-Chief

Jeanna served as editor-in-chief of Live Science. Previously, she was an assistant editor at Scholastic's Science World magazine. Jeanna has an English degree from Salisbury University, a master's degree in biogeochemistry and environmental sciences from the University of Maryland, and a graduate science journalism degree from New York University. She has worked as a biologist in Florida, where she monitored wetlands and did field surveys for endangered species. She also received an ocean sciences journalism fellowship from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.