Centuries-Old Tomb Opened Under Boston's Oldest Church

It's where lanterns were lit to alert Paul Revere
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 27, 2017 12:10 AM CDT
Updated Oct 27, 2017 1:00 AM CDT
200-Year-Tomb Opened Under Church Linked to Paul Revere
The Old North Church in Boston.   (AP Photo/Lisa Poole)

A 200-year-old tomb under the historic Boston church closely associated with Paul Revere's famous midnight ride in 1775 has been reopened. The Boston Globe reports the tomb at the Old North Church was briefly reopened Tuesday for a structural assessment ahead of a renovation of the city's oldest surviving church, which turns 300 years old in 2023. The tomb was reserved for church officials. It's one of 37 tombs under the church, dating from 1732 to about 1860.

They contain the remains of notable figures of early Boston, including the USS Constitution's first commander. Boston archaeologist Joe Bagley says the barrel-vaulted tomb was relatively well preserved, but many of the stacked wooden coffins had collapsed, revealing skulls and bones, the AP reports. The church is where two lanterns were lit to tell Revere the British were arriving by sea. (The "tomb of Santa Claus" was recently found under a church.)

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