Black man in medieval Britain
The discovery of a skeleton in a friary`s ruins is the first physical evidence of a black person living in medieval Britain.
London: The discovery of a skeleton in a friary`s ruins is the first physical evidence of a black person living in medieval Britain.
The man`s skeleton, uncovered in the friary in Ipswich, Suffolk, which was destroyed by Henry VIII, is said to date back to the 13th century, reports The Times.
The discovery is the first physical indication that black people lived in Britain in the 1,000-year period between the departure of the Romans, who had African slaves, and the beginnings of the age of discovery in the 15th century.
The skull demonstrates African characteristics, and an isotopic analysis of the man`s teeth and thigh bone proved he had African roots.
The man is believed to have been captured by a noble who brought him back to Britain from one of the last crusades in the 1270s.
His burial on consecrated ground suggests either he was a Christian or had converted.
The man predates the three black people previously known to have lived in Britain by 150 years.