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Remains of 'handless monk' discovered on island of mystery

The skeleton of a handless man, believed to be a monk, has been unearthed on a tiny island in the English Ch...

Posted: Nov 21, 2018 6:17 PM
Updated: Nov 21, 2018 6:17 PM

The skeleton of a handless man, believed to be a monk, has been unearthed on a tiny island in the English Channel, the same location where a porpoise was found in its very own medieval grave in 2017.

Archaeologists were puzzled last year after discovering a buried marine mammal where they had expected to find human remains on Chapelle Dom Hue, just off the west coast of Guernsey.

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Now the mystery has deepened, after the same team spotted a toe bone emerging from the small island's cliff edge.

The archaeologists then proceeded to dig out a set of well-preserved human remains, with buttons for his clothes but no hands. They believe the man was a monk belonging to a monastery on a nearby island.

Damage appears to have been done to the man's skull, who was around 5 feet tall, but it's so far unclear how he lost his hands.

The buttons in the grave suggest he was wearing clothes when buried, and the skeleton is lying in an east-to-west direction, which implies a Christian burial.

But the most curious part of the find is the missing body parts. CNN has contacted the archaeologists for further comment on their latest discovery.

"The body is in varying states and conditions," one man explains in a video documenting the dig. "Some of it's slightly surprising -- the toes are well preserved, the pelvis, that you'd think of as quite a solid bone, is not, and as you can see there's been quite a lot of damage to the skull."

The archaeologist explains that the man's left foot had become visible after wind and rain washed away the soil covering it.

The team's earlier head-scratching find, of the porpoise unusually buried in a dedicated resting place, was dated to between 1416 and 1490 from tests in 2017.

That mysterious mammal prompted intrigue from scientific communities around the world -- and this new discovery is sure to do the same.

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