Archaeologists working on a HS2 station site in Birmingham have completed an archaeological excavation of a 19th-century burial ground.
The 12-month archaeological phase saw 70 archaeologists excavate 6,500 sets of human remains from the burial ground where the Curzon Street station is being built.
Park Street burial ground was opened in 1810 as an overflow cemetery for St Martin-in-the-Bullring and stayed open for only 63 years. It closed to public burials in 1873.
Archaeologists are now starting to examine the skeletons in closer detail, alongside artefacts discovered within the burial ground, including figurines, coins, toys and necklaces.
Name plates have also been found with a small number of the people buried at the site, and the team will combine research of historical documents, such as parish records and wills, with analysis of the skeletons, to develop detailed biographies of the individuals.
The archaeologists who worked on the Park Street archaeological dig will share their discoveries and initial findings from the site with the local community on Saturday 21 September at Eastside City Park alongside the National Trust’s Heritage Open Days.
Mike Lyons, HS2 West Midlands Programme Director said: “Birmingham is at the heart of the HS2 network and we’re proud to have reached this first major milestone in the construction of Curzon Street station."
Commenting on the end of the archaeological fieldwork, Claire Cogar, Lead Archaeologist from MOLA Headland, said: “The careful and fascinating excavation of Park Street burial ground is telling us a great deal of the effects of life in 19th-century Birmingham on the population."
Following archaeological and scientific research, the remains will be reburied together in consecrated ground at a suitable location identified in consultation with representatives of the Church of England.