‘Human remains’ found in tunnel under city

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“Human remains” have been found in a tunnel under a city. 

Police confirmed that a bone fragment, believed to be human, was found in the tunnels on Friday, March 24.   

Archaeological work had been underway in Liverpool’s historic Williamson Tunnels when the potential human remains were found beneath the city’s Edge Hill area, reports The Liverpool Echo.

Writing on the Williamson Tunnels Facebook page, heritage centre manager Dave Bridson said: “Last week’s digging, at a depth of approximately five metres below the original tunnel level, revealed several bones of which one may be human (possibly rib no.12 – the smallest and one of the so called ‘floating ribs’).

“The police were informed and have taken the bone for forensic investigation but in the meantime digging has been suspended, the dig area has been sealed off and, during opening hours, we have had a permanent police presence to ensure nothing is touched.”

A spokesperson for Merseyside Police added: “Forensic officers attended and tests are being carried out to confirm the type and provenance of the bone.”

The Williamson Tunnels, spanning large areas of the city from the Smithdown Lane to Paddington districts, date from 1810 to 1840.

Wealthy tobacco merchant, landowner and philanthropist, Joseph Williamson employed workers to create an intricate maze of brick-arched underground tunnels and vaults for no apparent reason.

After Williamson’s death the tunnels fell into disrepair and remained largely inaccessible until archaeological investigations were carried out in 1995.

For the past 28 years, volunteers have been working to clear the mysterious labyrinth.

No records were kept of how far the tunnels stretch or why they were built.

The dig area has now been sealed off and there is a constant police presence while the investigation into the bone fragment is underway.

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