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Bronze Age skeleton is dug up in quarry

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« on: August 03, 2007, 12:52:24 am »

Bronze Age skeleton is dug up in quarry

The unearthed remains at Pode Hole Farm quarry are believed to be 3,500 years old.

ARCHAEOLOGISTS believe they may have unearthed a Bronze Age cemetery near Peterborough after digging up the remains of a 3,500 year-old skeleton.
Experts who made the find at Bardon Aggregates' Pode Hole Farm quarry in Thorney, near Peterborough, say they expect to come across further burial sites as excavations continue.

The skeleton, which is thought to date from the middle to late Bronze Age, was uncovered by Milton Keynes-based Phoenix Consulting Archaeology Limited, during routine excavation work.

Lead archaeologist Dr Andrew Richmond said: "We have been excavating for seven years and have found Bronze Age remains, but this is the first body. I don't think it will be the last.

"It is clear from aerial photographs showing crop marks that the area includes potential burial grounds.

"The discovery of the whole skeleton is significant because we are able to build up a picture of the landscape and the economy of the Bronze Age.

"It had been preserved so well, thanks to the moisture in the soil around the burial.

"Our work on site will continue this year, and, when it is complete, the skeletons and any other finds will be sent for testing to determine age, sex, diet, disease and dental information."

Dr Richmond said almost all of the skeleton's head was missing because it would have been damaged by centuries of ploughing.

Pode Hole's quarry manager Fred Dooris, said: "The discovery is very exciting. There have been a number of excavations around the quarry with items such as Bronze Age axes, palstaves, spear heads and an anvil all being found close to the area.

"Items such as the skeleton and the community's work tools give us a unique insight into the lives of our ancestors."

The find also bolsters the reputation of Peterborough's Bronze Age history.

General manager of Flag Fen Bronze Age Centre Georgia Butters said: "Every find adds to our understanding of the Bronze Age in Peterborough, and helps to confirm this is a rich archaeological landscape.

"The remains are not obvious such as Stonehenge, but are equally important in terms of our ancestors' history.

"At Flag Fen, only five per cent of the site has been excavated. The rest is under the surface.

"While Flag Fen shows the ceremonial aspects of the people who once lived in this area, digs like the one at Pode Hole show the domestic side."
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