They are dust and dry bones. Hundreds of people, generation upon generation, reduced to neatly boxed scraps and splinters.
But a team from the University of Leicester archaeology unit has a rare opportunity to tell us about the lives these people led.
Work on the extension to a shopping centre in Leicester city centre unearthed the largest medieval parish cemetery outside London, containing more than 1,300 skeletons.
A couple of tidbits of information, but not a whole lot.