Porpoise unearthed in medieval graveyard
A recent archaeological dig near Guernsey has yielded something rather unexpected - a porpoise skeleton.
When Oxford University's Philip de Jersey and his team discovered a burial site on the small island of Chapelle Dom Hue recently, they had expected to find the remains of a medieval monk.
Instead however, upon excavating the grave, they found the skeleton of a porpoise.
"It's very peculiar, I don't know what to make of it," said de Jersey. "Why go to the trouble of burying a porpoise in what looks like a grave ?"
The discovery is made all the more mysterious by the fact that the grave appears to have been dug out carefully and deliberately in a way that would be typically expected of a human burial.
Whoever was responsible had seemingly assigned great significance to this particular animal.
"If we were in a church and we found something like this, based on the shape, we would think it was a grave cut," said de Jersey. "That is what puzzles me."
"If they had eaten it or killed it for the blubber, why take the trouble to bury it ?"