At 11:01 AM 6/17/2001 +0100, you wrote:
>I was wandering around Avebury church yesterday and noticed that a 13th-14th
>century stone coffin inside has a couple of holes, like drain holes, in the
>bottom. I have noticed this on other stone coffins, and wonder if anyone
>can tell me what the function of these holes was.
It's to let the decomposing body matter escape. The Govan Sarcophagus has
one (actually, it has two but one's about 100 years old and hasn't had a
body in it that recently).
Pictures of the sarcophagus (and links to Govan's website) at:
Alligator Descartes | Archaeoptics Ltd.
http://www.symbolstone.org | Low-cost Archaeological 3D Laser Scanning