In 2009, a project to landscape the grounds of Hereford Cathedral began. The Cathedral was built in the twelfth century and had served as a place of worship and burial ground in the following centuries. Naturally, before work could begin, the remains of the dead had to be re interred. This was a hefty task, there were over two thousand of skeletons that had to be moved.
Found among the many remains were victims of leprosy and a woman whose hand had been severed. One skeleton that stood out, was that of a male about five foot eight inches in height. What was interesting about him was the trauma on the right shoulder blade, his ribs and legs. Ten of this mans right ribs were broken as was his right leg.
"He's the most battered corpse on the site," said the lead archaeologist "He had the largest number of broken bones."
Four of the man's ribs showed healed fractures suggesting a single blow, another four ribs were in the process of healing, his left lower leg had an unusual twisting break, one that could have been caused by a direct blow or a rolled ankle, and he had lost three of his teeth.
A chemical analysis of his other teeth showed that the man likely grew up in Normandy.
The archaeologist asked "could this be the remains of a hero of the jousting circuit?" It certainly sounds like it doesn't it?
It may be that this man participated in a form of jousting called the Tourney, in which men rode horses and attacked one another, in large groups, with blunted weapons.
It has been proved that men older than age forty-six who died of an accidental deaths during medieval times were likely to died while traveling or transporting goods. Well that must be true if the experts say so, but I'd like to believe that this man was a Norman knight who made his way to England and died here aged just forty-five, a hero of the joust.
The grave that held this mans remains that you can see in the image was widely used between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries.