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Human Remains Revealed by Storms at Rat Island

Recent storms have exposed human remains at Burrow Island in Portsmouth Harbour. Colloquially known as Rat Island, this stretch of land is part of the MoD’s estate and is believed to have been used as a burial ground in the 19th century for convicts or prisoners of war.
A member of the public identified the remains and alerted the police. Senior Archaeologist for the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), Richard Osgood, undertook emergency recovery work at the site with help from injured soldiers involved in Operation Nightingale. The team recovered several individuals over two days of excavation.  
The remains were delivered to Wessex Archaeology’s head office near Old Sarum, where they are currently being cleaned by a dedicated team of volunteers. Our volunteers have supported the work of Operation Nightingale throughout the project by processing the artefacts from several of their sites. Artefacts have included weaponry from a Saxon cemetery at Barrow Clump, Iron Age pottery from Chisenbury Midden and parts of a crashed Spitfire from Salisbury Plain.
To find out more about this discovery follow this link.


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