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Facial reconstructions of medieval residents found during tram dig

The bodies were among 390 excavated during work in Constitution Street, Edinburgh in 2009.

Facial reconstruction of three people found buried in a graveyard in Constitution Street, Leith, Edinburgh

Reconstructions have been unveiled of three Medieval residents found during an excavation in Edinburgh.

The bodies were found on the site of South Leith Parish Church graveyard when a dig was carried out in 2009.

The area was being excavated as part of preparations for the Edinburgh Trams project.

The graves of 390 people dating from between the late 15th and 18th century were found lying beneath Constitution Street.

On Thursday, reconstructions of three of the people created by experts at the University of Dundee were unveiled.

Among them was a teenage boy between 13 and 17 who grew up in Leith and died between 1393 and 1445. Also reconstructed was a man aged between 25 and 35 who died sometime between the mid 16th and mid 17th century.

The third was a woman aged between 25 and 35 who was buried in a communal grave with two other women and a child aged between seven and 12.

The Constitution Street dig.

City archaeologist John Lawson said: "This is one of the largest and most important urban excavations of human remains undertaken in Edinburgh and Scotland in recent years. The results have shed new light on the lives of the medieval population in one of Scotland's largest and most important ports.

"It has allowed us to highlight the lives of the ordinary person in Leith, by putting a face to these individuals and showing how they lived and died.

"The forensic reconstructions have really helped to identify these remains as those of members of the public, rather than merely deeming them as archaeological remains, and how alike they are to modern day inhabitants of Leith and Edinburgh."

Cllr Richard Lewis said: "The unearthing of such important remains was a major discovery five years ago, but to be able to gain an even closer insight into Leith’s medieval past is incredibly exciting.

"Edinburgh has an undeniably rich and interesting history, but work like this means the whole city can truly appreciate our heritage."

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