Forensics experts at the university said the bones most likely belonged to a man from modern-day Tunisia who spent about a decade living in England before he died. They could determine this by using isotope analysis, a technique that looks at the mix of elements that build up in a person's teeth, bones or other tissues. Since people from different areas tend to accumulate such elements in different ways, analysis of their remains can sometimes pinpoint where they grew up, where they lived or even their diet.
His burial on consecrated ground suggests that not only must he have converted to Christianity, he may have gone on to become a respected member of society. Researcher Xanthe Mallett said that he would have had to been of some note to be buried in the friary; although he was not a king or court official, or there would have been more records to document this.
Historian Jim Bolton from the Queen Mary University of London concurs: he believes that this is the first physical evidence of Africans in medieval England. He added that this find illustrates that there is still a lot to learn about how often or widely 'ordinary' people travelled - either within England, Europe, or the wider world - during that period, since it has so far been extremely difficult to find evidence of any Africans in England between the fall of the Roman Empire and the Age of Exploration.
Well-Being Australia chairman Mark Tronson, a Baptist minister is fascinated by the ideas regarding who was seen as an 'ordinary person'. He wonders if this was an 'ordinary' person, or (as the researchers say, 'someone of some note'), and he further speculates what makes someone 'ordinary' in society.
We know that people travelled widely throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa and to and from India and China. Trade was of major importance in the Roman era, and the Crusades from the 9-11th centuries are another example of extensive travel.
M V Tronson says that philosophically everybody is an ordinary person, but that every person has moments of being extraordinary, a celebrity, or being very special.
Every member of each family is very special, a celebrity on their birthday or when they achieve a goal they have long aimed for, such as a graduation, a new job or promotion, performing well in sport or the arts or, of course, at their wedding.
An ordinary person can also be extra ordinary and gain legendary status, if only for a minute or two amongst friends. M V Tronson recalls a story from 1967 when in Canberra one could attain your driving licence at 16, and his circle of class mates all failed their first attempt. His late father, Seymour Tronson, an old farmer, advised Mark that to signal a right turn, he was to put his right arm out the window.
After the driving test with a number of right turns, the instructor enquired as to who advised him to engage his right arm. When he learned it was his father, he was given a first time pass, and was a celebrity for perhaps an hour or two in his class.
Young cricketers are seemingly ordinary people until they get selected in one of Australia's national cricket teams (Twenty/20, One Day, Test), and they rocket into celebrity status. Greg Chappell has said on numerous occasions that the day he was appointed as the Australian Cricket Team captain, it was as though he had become an expert on subjects for which he was not conversant.
There are all sorts of suggestions 'on-line' as to who an ordinary person is, the reader is invited to type 'Ordinary person' into any large search engine.
M V Tronson says however, that the Scriptures place every person into this 'ordinary person' category, as there are two philosophical ideas. The first is that God is without sin and all mankind has sinned and come short of this magnificent Glory of God.
The second is that those who repent and love the Lord and offer their lives to Him, become 'heirs' and therefore are 'extraordinary'. But even in being extraordinary, this pathway is open to all 'ordinary' people to choose.