Monday, July 25, 2011

Roman skeleton unearthed on building site

ARCHAEOLOGISTS from Northampton have discovered human remains which could be more than 1,600 years old.

The team from Northamptonshire Archaeology discovered the remains of a man while they were carrying out investigations on a building site.

A small piece of pottery found alongside the crouched skeleton was used to date the burial to somewhere between the years 43 and 410 – suggesting the body is Roman.

Archaeologist Andy Chapman said: “It was a very interesting find.

“There’s a Bronze Age barrow next to where we found the remains so it looks like the Romans just came along 2,000 years later and buried this man right next to it.

“It was a really interesting site for our team to work on.”

Because the piece of pottery which was found next to the body was so small, experts will now use carbon dating techniques on the remains to work out more accurately how old they are.

Mr Chapman said: “The bones were actually in a fairly poor condition, because they were in quite sandy soil.

“So the body was pretty poorly preserved, but hopefully the carbon dating will give us a bit clearer picture of how old the remains are.”

Despite the exact age of the remains not yet been known, tests on the bones have already revealed the man suffered from arthritis in his back.

As with much of Northamptonshire Archaeology’s work, the site the team was excavating was outside Northamptonshire, on a former RAF radar base in Norfolk.

Before finding the Roman remains at the RAF Watton site, the team had found six Bronze Age axes and five cremation burials nearby.

The team from Northampton examined the site before the development of 154 homes could take place there.

Edward Paker from housing developers Bennett Homes said: “Our site at Watton has been the site of a number of important discoveries in recent years and this latest one is no exception.

“It’s fascinating to see the remains.”

The Roman remains which were found by the archaeologists in Norfolk have now been removed from the site and will be handed over to the Norwich Museum Service.

For more interesting topics related to archaeology, visit archaeology excavations.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

very interesting......