Medieval pendant found in a garbage pit may hold the bones of a saint

For 900 years, a corroded medieval pendant discovered in a trash heap in Germany has been hiding a religious treasure: tiny fragments of bone, possibly from the body of a saint, a new study has found. And further studies might reveal which saint it was.

Such medieval “reliquaries” — containers or shrines for the bones or other relics of saints — often contain a strip of parchment or paper with the saint’s name — known as an “authentic” or “cedula.”

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