Jewish 12th century bones reburied

The ancient remains of three 12th century Jews have been reburied during a special ceremony.

The two men and one woman, discovered during routine road works in Northampton in 1992, were interred at the town's Jewish cemetery on
Sunday.

Archaeologists had at first believed that the remains were from the 16th or 17th century, but radio carbon dating tests showed they dated back to 400 years earlier.

The bones were found at a site identified by Marcus Roberts, director of JTrails, the National Anglo-Jewish Heritage Trail, as being the lost cemetery of the town's medieval Jewish community.

Around 40 people attended the ceremony, organised by JTrails and Northampton Hebrew Congregation, which had sought advice from the Chief Rabbi's Office.

The service was led by Small Communities Minister Elkan Levy. Rabbi Herschel Gluck of the European Committee for the Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries also oversaw proceedings.

Mr Roberts said: "The council did everything they could for the service to take place. There was a great willingness on their part to help the community do this.

"It's rare to go to a funeral and leave with a smile on your face, but we feel the right thing has been done."

    Last updated: 1:48pm, May 21 2010