Grave reveals medieval Caesareans

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The medieval remains of a mother and daughter found in North Yorkshire shows signs of an attempted Caesarean operation, scientists have revealed. The 900-year-old grave at Wharram Percy held the remains of a woman aged between 25 and 30 with a baby.

A study of the remains by English Heritage showed the woman died during her pregnancy and the foetus was cut free from the womb in a bid to save it.

Nearly 700 skeletons have been found at the 12th century site near Malton.

Survival hope

It is thought the woman died during her pregnancy which was 10 weeks short of full-term.

Simon Mays, skeletal biologist at English Heritage's Centre for Archaeology, said the find contradicts previous notions that medieval people got used to death.

He said it suggests life was precious and people were prepared to carry out drastic acts to preserve it.

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