Skeletons – Our Buried Bones: new exhibition at M Shed revealing how Bristolians lived thousands of years ago

This month there will be an exciting new free exhibition at M Shed Bristol revealing how Bristolians lived thousands of years ago.

Opening this Saturday, Skeletons: Our Buried Bones will display six skeletons discovered in Bristol alongside six skeletons from the Museum of London’s 20,000-strong collection, bringing to life stories long hidden beneath the ground.

Excavations in Bristol have uncovered numerous burial sites over the years, including Medieval monasteries, a hospital burial ground and a convent. The six Bristol skeletons in the exhibition were found in Clifton, Filton, Mangotsfield, Tormarton and the city centre.

The individuals on display – from a Bronze Age man with a spear-head lodged in his spine, to a decapitated Roman woman, and children with conditions linked to poor nutrition – provide a unique and personal insight into the human history of both cities.

Laura Pye, Head of Culture at Bristol City Council explains:

“Each skeleton has its own tale to tell, and collectively they uncover 2,000 years of history, increasing our understanding of how people once lived, and providing insights into the health, diet, diseases and lifestyles of the deceased. It’s a totally unique insight into Bristol’s history.”

Alongside the exhibition, M Shed and the University of Bristol have developed ‘The Bone Lab’, a space where children can reveal some of the science behind the stories.

Children will discover how to distinguish between a male and female skeleton and how to identify what diseases and injuries the people had by searching for hidden clues and hearing from experts of the excavation site, lab and museum.

Schools will also have an opportunity to visit Skeletons: Our Buried Bones during a special Science Study Week, between 9th -12th May.

Teachers can bring their Year 5-7 classes to delve deeper into the science of bones with a new workshop, run with experts from the University of Bristol. Activities include measuring replica human bones, comparing animal bones, handling teeth and learning about archaeological excavation.

Skeletons: Our Buried Bones will open at M Shed on 8th April and will continue until 3rd September 2017. It will run on a ‘pay what you think’ basis.

M Shed is open Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 5pm in term-time. It is closed on Mondays except on bank holiday Mondays and Mondays during the school holidays. Last entry to Skeletons: Our Buried Bones will be 45 minutes before closing.

For more exciting events coming up in Bristol, please do check out the Bristol Mum What’s On page!