Alex unearths practices of Victorians

Dr Alex Langlands.

Dr Alex Langlands.

First published in News

AN ARCHAEOLOGIST from Winchester University uncovered the secrets of Victorian body snatchers when he presented a special edition of Channel 4’s Time Team.

Dr Alex Langlands, a postdoctoral researcher, has investigated the Victorian practice of smuggling fresh bodies to surgeons who would cut them up to learn about the human body.

He said: “I’ve done lots of graveyard surveys before, but to consider this element was very exciting. It’s quite grim and gory.

“I heard in the most extreme cases of tunnels being dug to get to buried individuals – sometimes they were being dug as the funerals were taking place. A lot of undertakers and ministers were being bribed.”

Dr Langlands has worked on Time Team specials since 2011 and has previously presented historical farming documentaries on BBC2.

Secrets of the Body Snatchers: A Time Team Special was broadcast on Sunday, August 31.

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