New book highlights Norton Priory's medieval human remains

Date: 20/03/2024

'Compulsive . . . A wonderful display of how modern archaeology can bring hidden histories to life' Daily Telegraph

Norton Priory is delighted to have been included in Professor Alice Roberts' new book ‘Crypt’; the final instalment in her acclaimed trilogy.

The chapter ‘Mystery at a Priory’ focuses not only on Norton Priory’s prestigious position as the most excavated medieval monastery in Europe but also on research into what Alice herself describes as something of a ‘mysterious disease’: Paget’s Disease of Bone. 

For over 15 years, Norton Priory’s research team have been investigating a high percentage of medieval individuals excavated from the site in the 1970s and 1980s who appear to have an ancient form of this bone condition.

Professor Rob Layfield from the University of Nottingham, Dr Carla Burrell, Norton Priory’s Osteoarchaeologist and the ancient DNA team at The Francis Crick Institute have been part of the scientific team working with the Paget’s Association to learn more about how the disease affected the medieval population and how the disease differs through the centuries.

Visitors to Norton Priory can now hear the most up-to-date information presented by the wider research team in new gallery videos. From ancient bones to modern science and technology – the story continues.

Professor Alice Roberts is an academic, author and broadcaster, specialising in human anatomy, physiology, evolution, archaeology and history. In 2001, Alice made her television debut on Channel 4’s Time Team, and went on to write and present The Incredible Human JourneyOrigins of Us and Ice Age Giants on BBC2. She is also the presenter of the popular TV series Digging for Britain. Alice has been a Professor of Public Engagement with Science at the University of Birmingham since 2012.

Copies of the book will be available to purchase in the Norton Priory museum shop from the end of March 2024. 

Introducing CRYPT by Alice Roberts on Youtube: