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History series which sees skeletons of everyday people from across the ages analysed in staggering detail, opening new windows on the history of our forebears by literally revealing the person behind the skeleton. The fascinating work of world-renowned Professor Sue Black OBE and her team at the Centre for Human Anatomy and Identification at the University of Dundee comes under the spotlight as the team works on answering three big questions from the skeleton. Who were they? Why did they die? What does their life story tell us that we didn't know before? Using the full arsenal of modern forensic anthropology remarkable stories emerge from long forgotten bones, along with the faces of people who haven't been seen for hundreds of years. Bodies are unearthed in a range of circumstances, from a medieval body unearthed at a Scottish castle, to a heavily scarred Georgian woman discovered in a mass burial pit in London. None of the skeletons is famous; all are everyday people, whose extraordinary stories would have died with them if it weren't for Sue Black and her colleagues. With forensic science techniques such as carbon dating, bone chemical analysis and facial reconstruction, they find new layers of detail to add to our knowledge of Britain's past.
|S01E01||Ipswich Man||06/05/2010||An apparently African skeleton, unearthed near a medieval English monastery, pushes Professor Sue Black's forensics team to its limits. Bone analysis offers clues about the true origins of the mysterious skeleton and facial reconstruction painstakingly reveals his face, not seen for centuries. The historical trail points to new evidence about British ancestry and the case takes an unexpected twist when they discover the tragic truth about how he died.|
|S01E02||Mummified Child||13/05/2010||This time the team head back into a dark corner of the 19th Century, to a time when corpses were turned into trophies and children were sold by the inch. Their subject is the bizarre mummified body of a child. Sue and the team pick up the trail that leads to body snatching, serial murder and anatomical science in darkest Victorian Britain. Can they give our boy a home, a face, or a name?|
|S01E03||Stirling Man||20/05/2010||This time the team open up the historical cold case of a mysterious skeleton discovered by accident in a series of forgotten rooms in Scotland's Stirling Castle. The history cold case team is drawn into one of the bloodiest periods of our history when Scotland and England were locked in a war for supremacy. The forensic trail leads to a unique and extraordinary 600 year old document and the team is shocked to discover the skeleton's likely identity.|
|S01E04||Crossbones Girl||27/05/2010||A skeleton unearthed in an archaeological dig in the historic borough of Southwark in London sparks a new cold case when it is found to be covered with disfiguring scars. Renowned forensics expert Prof Sue Black leads her team at the Centre for Anatomy and Human ID at the University of Dundee in an investigation that will drag them into the seediest corners of early Victorian Britain. They use the latest facial reconstruction techniques to bring the identity of one of history's missing persons back into chilling view but in the process the team discovers much more than they bargained for.|
|S02E01||The Skeletons of Windy Pits||30/06/2011||For decades experts have remained baffled by a jumble of human bones discovered in a unique series of caves on the North York Moors, known as the Windypits. One discovery in particular stands out - a tangle of bones that might belong to a family from two thousand years ago. The trail to uncover answers about what happened to these people leads to a dark world of ritual sacrifice and right back to the limits of British recorded history.|
|S02E02||The York 113||07/07/2011||In 2008, construction workers just beyond York's city walls uncovered 113 bodies in a mass grave. The History Cold Case team spots an incredibly rare genetic peculiarity in two of the skeletons among the 113 and wonder whether they have stumbled on a pair of brothers, one of whom was severely disabled. The trail to find out who these two men could have been and how they ended up dead in a mass grave outside York opens up a new personalised vantage point on the events surrounding the English Civil War and also gives us a perspective on disability which can perhaps teach us something about so-called modern attitudes today.|
|S02E03||The Bodies in the Well||14/07/2011||When the remains of 17 people - men, women and 11 children, one as young as two years old - were discovered in a dry well shaft in Norwich city centre, the local community were keen for answers about who these people were and what happened to them. Thought to date from the early 1200s, this becomes a case of suspected medieval murder but the final reveal of the identity of these people is an even bigger shock to all involved.|
|S02E04||The Woman and Three Babies||21/07/2011||In the sleepy commuter town of Baldock in Hertfordshire the History Cold Case team is called in to investigate the discovery of a skeleton dating from around 100AD, buried in a bizarre position, along with the remains of three babies. Is she Celt or Roman? Is she the earliest recorded mother of triplets in Britain and what can her story reveal about the bizarre attitudes to pregnancy and childbirth during the Roman occupation of Britain?|