Experts unearth mystery behind human remains in garden
It is believed the bodies were buried in Aberdeen more than 180 years ago.
By Ben Philip & Jenness Mitchell
Human remains hidden away for nearly two centuries underneath an Aberdeen home were most likely buried by a medical student, experts have established.
The bones were discovered by workers during a property renovation in Old Aberdeen last November.
After police ruled out foul play, experts from Aberdeenshire Council and the University of Aberdeen were called in to solve the mystery.
Archaeology lecturer Dr Rebecca Crozier told STV News the team recovered more than 100 bone fragments - with tests showing they came from around seven bodies, two of whom were children.
Dr Crozier said: "We have adults, but we also have at least two children.
"Which is quite interesting because if you are using children for dissection in this time period, it usually suggests you're pretty stuck for adult cadavers - because children's cadavers - you can't get as many students working on them, so they're considered less valuable."
The skeletons showed evidence of post-mortem procedures including skull drilling.
Experts discovered that medical students lived at the property in 1832 and have concluded the bodies were used for training new doctors.
However, it is thought the students may have disposed of the remains after the introduction of the Anatomy Act - which brought a halt to the illegal trade of corpses and grave robbing.
Dr Crozier added: "There is some dark history around digging up bodies and of course some unpleasant exploits by some more famous people that didn't do the anatomy schools any good turn.
"So there was a lot of suspicion around anatomy schools and people were really uncomfortable.
"People genuinely feared ending up on the dissection table of a medical student."
After further examination, a burial will be arranged close to where the bones were found.