Medieval 'false leg' strap found at Gloucester Cathedral

Parts of medieval prosthetic limb Image copyright Border Archaeology
Image caption A buckle and part of a strap were found with the metal pieces

A strap for a medieval false leg has been uncovered by archaeologists digging at Gloucester Cathedral.

Metal pieces from a prosthesis band were found with a skeleton in the old lay cemetery.

Experts say traces of bone and possibly wood, found with the band, suggest it supported a prosthetic leg.

Helen Jeffrey from the cathedral said: "We are astonished they found it, it was clogged in mud and looked like little pieces of stones."

The excavation is part of the ongoing Project Pilgrim scheme to redevelop parts of the cathedral.

The pieces, including a metal buckle and a fragment of the strap, were unearthed in the dig south-east of the building's South Porch.

Ms Jeffrey added: "We expected to find some burial sites and skeletons as it used to be a lay cemetery and these little pieces of iron were found in a grave with a skeleton.

"It was just a real puzzler and we had it taken away to be analysed - something similar is on display in London."

The object is expected to go on display at the cathedral in the future.

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