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Roman Britain: New Findings & Discoveries.
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rynner2Online
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PostPosted: 10-04-2013 06:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

Slideshow/picture gallery of some of the finds from the Bloomberg site:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-22086375
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PostPosted: 12-04-2013 08:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

A long article on the London dig here:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/archaeology/9987112/Digging-up-Roman-gold-in-the-City-of-London.html

Extract:
Quote:
From the historian’s point of view, the greatest finds are writing tablets. Some are made of wood, written on in ink. Others are an ancient type of etch-a-sketch – where a wooden pad was inlaid with wax, which Romans inscribed and then wiped clear; heavy-handed writers scratched down into the wood, leaving a permanent record of their thoughts. The fine cursive Latin is yet to be completely translated. But already archaeologists have turned up shopping lists, party invitations, a contract for the sale of a slave girl and another contract selling a five-acre wood in Kent. Most important of all, the documents will reveal the names of ancient Roman Londoners. Even though the Romans occupied the city for nearly 400 years, only 14 names of Londinium residents have been discovered.

“It’s by finding out the names that you get an impression of where people come from – in the mixture of Latin and Celtic names in particular,” says Michael Marshall, “The area was populated incredibly intensely within a couple of decades of 43 AD. Just like in the heart of the city today, everyone from all walks of life was cramped together. Roman London was an incredibly up to date, fashionable place – the forum, just north of London Bridge, was the biggest structure north of the Alps. The city had a lot of public buildings, and it was importing vast amounts of pottery and foodstuffs from all over the world. The hairpins we’ve found are exactly the same as on the Continent – they had the same fashionable hair-dos here as they did in the heart of the empire.

“There’s an enormous collection of well-preserved shoes, and they’re in all sizes. It’s through simple things like that, that you find out important things – whether or not children were living here. This was a very unstable city to begin with, with several rebellions, and you wonder whether the colonisers are bringing their families or not.” Among the shoes there are several army boots – “Some of the best-preserved in the Roman Empire,” says Michael Marshall, “they’re really, really great.”
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PostPosted: 04-05-2013 07:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richard III team makes second Leicester car park find

The team that discovered the remains of Richard III under a Leicester car park has made another find.
A 1,700-year-old Roman cemetery has been identified beneath another car park in the city.
Archaeologists from the University of Leicester believe the remains date back to 300AD.
Researchers found 13 sets of remains of mixed age and sex as well as hairpins, belt buckles and other personal items at the site on Oxford Street.

In February remains found beneath Greyfriars car park were revealed to be those of the last Plantagenet monarch, Richard III.

Project officer John Thomas said: "We have discovered new evidence about a known cemetery that existed outside the walled town of Roman Leicester during the 3rd to 4th Centuries AD.
"The excavation, at the junction of Oxford Street and Newarke Street, lies approximately 130m outside the south gate of Roman Leicester.
"Unusually, the 13 burials found during the recent excavations, of mixed age and sex, displayed a variety of burial traditions including east to west and north to south-oriented graves, many with personal items such as hobnailed shoes."
During the dig archaeologists also found a jet ring bearing what is possibly an early Christian symbol.

"Roman law forbade burial within the town limits so cemeteries developed outside the walls, close to well-used roads," added Mr Thomas.

Previous excavations on Newarke Street have revealed numerous Christian burial grounds near the present site.

Unusually, the recent excavations display a variety of burial traditions.
One grave possibly even suggests a Pagan burial, with the body laid on its side in a semi-foetal position and the head removed and placed near the feet, alongside two pottery jars that would have held offerings for the journey to the afterlife.

"It is possible from the variety of burials found that the cemetery catered for a range of beliefs that would have been important to people living in Leicester at this time," said Mr Thomas.

The site is earmarked for development.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-22404032
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PostPosted: 12-05-2013 13:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Haverhill Retail Park dig unearths Roman farmstead
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-suffolk-22487227

James Newboult said the size of the dig helped reveal the site's extensive history

A high-tech research park is going to be built on land that once housed a Roman farmstead.

An archaeological dig on the site of what will become the Haverhill Research Park has revealed traces of activity from the Iron Age through to the 1840s.

An Anglo Saxon hall and several pieces of jewellery were also found during the excavation, which covered 4.5 hectares.

Headland Archaeology said the dig had provided a "really interesting window" into Haverhill's history.


Anglo Saxon brooches were unearthed in the dig in Haverhill
The research park is being built on the A1307, the main road to Cambridge from Haverhill, and will also include a hotel and housing.

James Newboult, archaeological project manager, said the findings would be analysed and recorded to preserve the history of the site.

"There hasn't been a lot of archaeological work in recent times in Haverhill, so this really adds to the picture," he said.

The farmstead dates back to the "first or second centuries", he said.

"It's made up of a series of enclosures. Where today we use fences or bricks to define our areas, they use ditches and banks.

"It's what we call a cellular enclosure. People would have lived there, kept animals, and farmed their crops."
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PostPosted: 23-06-2013 21:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Roman townhouse 'underneath Lincoln Castle'
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-23004369

Foundations of an 11th Century timber building uncovered at Lincoln Castle

The dig has reached a depth of 3.5m below current ground level

A Roman townhouse is probably located underneath Lincoln Castle, according to archaeologists digging at the site.

The team have already reached the foundations of the Norman phase of the castle during their work.

Archaeologist Cecily Spall said the dig had reached a depth of 3.5m with another half-metre of digging left to complete.

The area is being excavated prior to a revamp of the castle.

Continue reading the main story
Lincoln Castle
Skeleton found at Lincoln Castle
A Roman fort was built at the site in about AD 60
The Romans abandoned Lincoln and Britain in AD 410
William the Conqueror built Lincoln Castle in 1068 on the site of the Roman fortress
For 900 years the castle was used as a court and prison
"We have been working since September - and have reached the level of the Norman castle - from the mid 11th Century," Ms Spall said.

She said they had found evidence of timber-framed buildings which may have been part of a medieval stable block.

"We expect we will find a Roman townhouse at about 4m depth below ground level," she added.

Lincolnshire County Council aims to refurbish the castle so it can become a major tourist attraction.

Ms Spall said: "We will gradually piece together using the artefacts that we find.

"We have found an enormous amount of animal bones and pottery and this can tell us an enormous amount about the lifestyle of the castle inhabitants, including what they were eating, how high status they were and how rich they were."

A previously undiscovered church, thought to be at least 1,000 years old, has also been found beneath the castle.

It is believed the stone church was built in the Anglo-Saxon period, after the Romans left Britain and before the Norman conquest of 1066.

The finds will form part of an exhibition at the castle
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PostPosted: 01-07-2013 22:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Roman shrine found at Rutland Water nature reserve
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-23119315

Artist's impression of Roman shrine

Archaeologists believe the shrine fell out of use in AD300

Archaeologists have uncovered a Roman shrine at Rutland Water nature reserve.

The team from Northamptonshire Archaeology investigated the site ahead of a 240-acre extension to the reserve by Anglian Water.

They found the remains of an Iron Age farmstead, and a shrine dating from about AD100.

Jo Everitt, Anglian Water's environment and heritage assessor, said: "Finding Roman shrines is not the norm, so we were delighted."

Ritual sacrifice
Roman sites had been found in the area at Collyweston Great Woods, 14km (eight miles) to the south-east of Rutland, and another to the north-west of Rutland Water, near Oakham.

Continue reading the main story
Rutland Water
Rutland Water
The reservoir at Rutland Water was created in the 1970s
It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest
The wildlife reserve stretches along nine miles of the western end of Rutland Water Reservoir and covers a total area of 1,000 acres
Rutland Water Nature Reserve
However, nothing had previously been discovered near the lagoons along the western edge of the reservoir.

The team discovered a circular stone building, about 10.5m (34ft) wide, with decorated red and white painted walls.

They also found more than 200 Roman coins, pottery jars, part of a small bronze figurine and deposits of animal bone, probably from the ritual sacrifice of lambs and cattle.

A skeleton of a man, aged about 30, was buried in a grave in the centre of the shrine.

The archaeologists believe the shrine fell out of use in AD300.

Ms Everitt added: "We've recreated part of the foundation and wall of the shrine from the original stone on an area outside of the lagoons so visitors to Rutland can see what it looked like."

The findings from the dig are currently being displayed at the Rutland Water visitor centre.
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PostPosted: 06-07-2013 23:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Roman coin hoard found at Belladrum festival site
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-23204839

A Roman coin hoard has been found at the site of a major Highland music festival, it has emerged.

Some of the 36 denarii were discovered by Eric Soane using a metal detector during a clean up of discarded tent pegs after last year's Belladrum.

A dig led by archaeologist Dr Fraser Hunter uncovered the rest of what was the first Roman coin hoard to be discovered in the Beauly area.

Some of the coins date from the mid-Second Century.

They will be on permanent display at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery from 16 July.

Festival promoter Joe Gibbs said: "Left-behind tent pegs can be dangerous to stock and can damage machinery.

"We like to get rid of as many as possible. But it was an unexpected bonus to find the coins."

He added: "Heavy metal isn't generally a genre we go in for at Belladrum, but perhaps we should revise that as clearly there is a precedent, albeit 2000 years ago."
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PostPosted: 10-08-2013 06:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hot summer unearths Roman discoveries in Wales
[Photos]

A rare Roman fort and marching camp have been discovered in Wales by aerial archaeologists during the hot summer.
The major Roman fort complex was spotted on parched grassland near Brecon, Powys, and the marching camp near Caerwent in Monmouthshire.
Aerial archaeologist Toby Driver said he could not believe his eyes when he spotted the fort from the air.

Scores of Iron Age farms and forts were also found in Pembrokeshire and the Vale of Glamorgan.
The crop of summer discoveries follow similarly exciting Bronze Age ones made during last winter's snow.


Dr Driver, from the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW), said 2013's spell of hot weather has left him reflecting on some of the most significant finds since 2006.
He targeted reconnaissance flights in a light aircraft to where the drought conditions were most severe across the length and breadth of Wales.
When crop marks show in drought conditions Dr Driver said the Royal Commission's aerial survey only has a few weeks to record the sites before rain or harvest removes them.

The Roman fort complex discovery near Brecon was a "rare discovery for Wales" and was made following a tip from Dr Jeffrey Davies, who he has been working with on another project - the Abermagwr Roman villa excavations near Aberystwyth.

"Jeffrey Davies noticed an anomaly in Roman coin finds near Brecon, reported under the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS)," explained the aerial archaeologist.
"He had a hunch that the coins, of the Emperor Claudius, could indicate a lost early Roman fort, and passed a grid reference to me the day before a flight into central Wales.
"I couldn't believe my eyes when the pilot and I approached the location and saw fading crop marks of a major Roman fort complex, lost beneath fields and a road for nearly 2,000 years." Cool

Between Caerwent and Chepstow, the aerial survey pinpointed only the second Roman overnight marching camp in Monmouthshire which Dr Driver said appears to show a small expeditionary force on manoeuvres, perhaps in the years around 50 AD.
"Because the campaigns against the tenacious Silures were documented by Roman historians, we expect more camps in south east Wales than we currently know about," he added.

West of Caerwent, a "remarkable" Iron Age settlement was also revealed.
In Pembrokeshire, one of the largest and most complex Iron Age defended farms in Pembrokeshire was found at Conkland Hill, Wiston, while in the Vale of Glamorgan more Iron Age settlements were discovered close to the Roman villa at Caermead, Llantwit Major.
Dr Driver added: "Given the decades of aerial survey in the region around Caerwent, these surprise discoveries show the continuing need for aerial archaeology in Wales."
In the winter, surveys in the snow uncovered Bronze Age burial mounds in the Vale of Glamorgan and a moated site at Llangorse lake, near Brecon.


The Royal Commission will now begin cataloguing and mapping the discoveries to make the information more widely available online.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-23628630
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PostPosted: 02-10-2013 06:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roman skulls washed down lost river
By Melissa Hogenboom, Science reporter, BBC News

Archaeologists working with London's Crossrail project have uncovered 20 skulls believed to be from the Roman period.
It is likely the bones were washed from a nearby burial site along one of London's "lost" rivers - the Walbrook.
Since the Crossrail project began, about 10,000 Roman items have been discovered.

These latest finds could give new insights into the lives of Roman people.
Near-intact pottery artefacts were also found which likely travelled along the same route as the skulls. Other bone fragments would not have been washed as easily down the river.

Paved over in the 15th Century, the Walbrook river divided the western and eastern parts of the city, its moist muddy walls providing exceptionally good conditions for artefacts to be preserved.
The discoveries were found about three metres below ground and underneath the Bedlam cemetery, a burial ground where hundreds of skeletons have been unearthed.

Though they have yet to be forensically dated, Nicholas Elsden from the Museum of London Archaeology said they were likely to be from the 3rd to 4th centuries AD, as that was when Romans buried their citizens as opposed to cremating them.
"It's relatively unusual find to find so many concentrated [in one area] when you're not in a graveyard. We're 100 yards outside the Roman city walls."
Roman law required burial outside the city, explained Mr Elsden, which meant there were burial sites circled around the town.
"What we're looking at here is how the Romans viewed their dead. You wouldn't imagine modern burial grounds being allowed to wash out into a river," he told BBC News.

Don Walker, an osteologist also from the Museum of London Archaeology, said the skulls were probably buried in different environments, shown by their shades of brown and grey.
"Forensic studies show that when the body disintegrates near a watercourse, the skull travels furthest. Either because it floats or it can roll along the base of the river.
"They were possibly buried in an area where there wasn't much land available. At the moment it looks as though they've collected together through natural processes."

From initial observations, Mr Walker said there was no evidence of any "foul play", but details about their sex and age would only emerge through further investigations.
He added that chemical markers on the teeth could reveal where these people came from and what sorts of food they ate.

Archaeologists believe that the Crossrail Project will lead to further discoveries hidden beneath the streets of London and say it could transform our understanding of Roman London.

Other recent findings include several bodies believed to date from the time of the Black Death and wood thought to be evidence of a 3,500-year-old Bronze Age transport route through London.

Crossrail currently operates over 40 worksites and archaeological investigations are carried out at each site ahead of main construction works to build the central stations.
The project will connect 37 stations from Heathrow Airport and Maidenhead in the west, through central London and out to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east and is due to be completed in 2018. [Map on page.]

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24351460
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PostPosted: 09-10-2013 07:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

Giant stone Bosham Head was Roman emperor

A giant stone head unearthed in West Sussex more than two centuries ago has been identified as a statue of a Roman emperor dating back to AD 122.
Bournemouth University archaeologists used 3D scanners to examine the 26-stone (170kg) head, found in Bosham.
Dr Miles Russell and Harry Manley believe the 'Bosham Head', part of The Novium museum collection in Chichester, was a statue of Roman Emperor Trajan.
It is the largest Roman statue found in Britain, the experts said.

The head, which is twice life-size, was discovered in the garden of a vicarage in about 1800.
The 3D scanner enabled the experts to pick out facial features and a distinctive hairstyle, which led them to conclude it was Emperor Trajan.

Dr Russell, a senior lecturer in prehistoric and Roman archaeology, believes the statue, made of Italian marble, was set up by Trajan's successor, Hadrian, on a visit to Britain in AD 121-122 and would have greeted visitors as they entered Chichester Harbour.
A similar statue of Emperor Trajan was also put up by Hadrian at Ostia Harbour, in Rome.

Dr Russell said: "The statue is one of the most important finds from Roman Britain and would certainly have been the most impressive.
"The problem is because the face has been so battered by weathering - possibly because it was in the sea at one point - people have felt for the last 200 years that there's not enough left of the face to be that precise on its identification.
"It is a shame that it has been ignored and overlooked for so long, but now that laser scanning has helped resolve its identity, hopefully it will now take pride of place."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-24442207

Bosham (pr. Bozzom) is hardly at the entrance to Chichester harbour, but Bosham Hoe could qualify. If the harbour was deeper in Roman times, then vessels might have regularly gone up to the city of Chichester, and Bosham Hoe would have been on the north shore of the channnel. OS maps of the area show numerous Roman remains, including the Roman Palace at Fishbourne, just west of Chichester.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fishbourne_Roman_Palace

(There is a canal from the harbour to the city, but that only dates to the 1820s:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chichester_Ship_Canal )
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PostPosted: 06-11-2013 23:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Peterborough solar farm: Archaeologists unearth Roman finds
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-24835569

Pottery believed to be from a Roman settlement

Part of a pot believed to be from a Roman settlement at Newborough

Roman pottery, evidence of a Roman settlement and "possibly Saxon" artefacts have been found at a proposed solar farm site near Peterborough.

The land at Newborough is being excavated ahead of a city council decision about the solar farm plan.

Richard O'Neill, from Wessex Archaeology, described the finds as "locally and regionally significant".

Work is expected to continue for three weeks, after which the council will consider the archaeologists' report.

Plans for the solar energy farm at three council-owned sites at Newborough, Morris Fen and America Farm were put on hold after English Heritage stepped in suggesting the area could be "nationally important".

'Not a Flag Fen'
Mr O'Neill described the finds at Newborough as "the most interesting".

"We've got a number of fragments of pottery dating from between the 1st and 3rd Centuries AD, and one potential Romano-British settlement.

"It's quite a small farmstead with perhaps a number of roundhouses," he said.

"We've also identified a couple of sites that may be late prehistoric, possibly settlements or funerary sites which we still need to look at."

Mr O'Neill confirmed experts were examining artefacts believed to date from the Saxon era.

Archaeologist Dr Francis Pryor discovered the nearby Bronze Age settlement of Flag Fen in 1982 which comprises thousands of timbers connecting Whittlesey Island with Peterborough and was used for ritual and worship for 1,000 years.

He believes the three sites could be historically significant.

"The edges of the Fen are where people have stayed and settled in prehistory, and there's absolutely no reason why there shouldn't be another Flag Fen out there, or a site that we can't imagine," he said.

Mr O'Neill said the discoveries made so far were "not a Flag Fen, but of local and regional significance".

Archaeologists are expected to continue excavating for three weeks, although Mr O'Neill said work would continue beyond that if evidence of older settlements was found.

Nick Harding, from the City Council's planning services department, said: "We will discuss the results of the survey with English Heritage and that will help us decide what to do next.

"The relative quality and the rarity of the finds... will determine how best to deal with them, whether that involves keeping developments clear of those sensitive areas or whether once those sites are recorded for posterity they can be covered over and development allowed to continue.

"Clearly we are not at a stage to make that decision yet."
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PostPosted: 12-11-2013 17:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
'Roman child's coffin' opened for first time
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-24870507

Lead coffin

Scientists said early analysis showed the top of the coffin was full of clay silt

A coffin dating back more than 1,600 years has been opened by scientists in a bid to learn more about life and death in Roman Britain.

Tests being carried out are expected to confirm later this week that it contains the remains of a child.

Made of lead, the coffin was discovered last month in a field in Witherley, west Leicestershire.

Scientists said they hoped it would reveal more about the culture of Roman Britain and even Romans' diets.

They had previously used an endoscope to probe inside the coffin, but said it was "almost entirely full of clay silt".

Stuart Palmer, from Archaeology Warwickshire, which is leading the work, said the contents could also show more about burial rites, clothing, disease and even drug use at the time.

The group is asking for the public's help in naming the child, running a poll on its website.

Continue reading the main story
Field in Leicestershire
The coffin was found by in a field in west Leicestershire, not far from the ancient Roman road of Watling Street
Continue reading the main story
1/5
'Rare and exciting'
The lead coffin was discovered by metal detecting enthusiasts Chris Wright and Steve Waterall.

Mr Wright, 30, from Derby, is a member of the Digging Up the Past Club. He discovered the coffin three weeks ago during an organised dig.

He has been a member of the club for about a year and his most impressive find was a Crimean War medal until the coffin.

He said he initially thought he had found a hoard but was thrilled when he realised it was a grave.

"The response I've had has been interesting," he said.

"To be associated with an object that will help build a picture of what this period was like is an honour."

Archaeology Warwickshire spokesman Stuart Palmer said: "It's important because it's a rare opportunity to look at the burial customs, the environment and the type of clothing.

"At the moment we don't know - it's all guesswork. We hope it will shed much needed light on a remote period of our past."

Before Monday, analysis of the coffin had shown it was made from a single sheet of lead, with hammer marks still visible. The corners were sealed with molten lead.

Archaeologists believe the coffin belongs to the child of a wealthy family and represents an early example of Christian burial.

Mr Palmer said the find was as exciting as the recent discovery of King Richard III's skeleton beneath a Leicester car park.

"This is a different story and will allow us to ask different sorts of questions," he said.
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PostPosted: 12-11-2013 23:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

The group is asking for the public's help in naming the child, running a poll on its website.

Talk about turning a story of historical interest into childish trivia. Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: 13-11-2013 11:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ronson8 wrote:
Quote:

The group is asking for the public's help in naming the child, running a poll on its website.

Talk about turning a story of historical interest into childish trivia. Rolling Eyes


To be fair they are trying to get the public (children in particular) more interested in archaeology. The tories have noticed that it doesn't turn a profit.
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PostPosted: 06-12-2013 01:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Ancient skeleton found in North Yorkshire sewer trench
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-25223852

Skeleton found in a sewer in Norton, North Yorkshire

The discovery was made by contractors working on sewers under Sutton Street in Norton-on-Derwent

An ancient skeleton, thought to date back to Roman Britain, has been discovered in a sewer trench.

Contractors from Yorkshire Water were installing sewers in Norton near Malton when they made the discovery.

Chris Pole, of Northern Archaeological Associates, said the site was formerly a Roman cemetery.

The "remarkably intact" skeleton has been removed for tests to determine its age, sex, and, if possible, a cause of death.

Two new sewers were being installed under Sutton Street in the village of Norton-on-Derwent when the skeleton was found two metres below the road.

Map showing where the skeleton was found
The skeleton was found in a sewer on Sutton Street in Norton-Upon-Derwent, North Yorkshire
Mr Pole, the project archaeologist for the site, said a Roman cemetery was located alongside the adjacent Langton Road, which follows a similar line to a Roman road leading south-east from the Roman fort at Malton and the settlement of Derventio (Norton).

Mr Pole said bodies were not buried within the limits of a town in Roman times because this was regarded as unclean.

Because of the position of the skeleton there was also a chance it could be older than Roman, Mr Pole said.

"It was in a crouched or foetal position, possibly mirroring birth and was located within the limits of a Roman cemetery but it has similarities with burials of prehistoric date," Mr Pole said.

"No grave goods were placed with the burial," he added.

Other skeletons were uncovered nearby when St Peter's Church was built in the 19th century.

The skeleton has been taken to archaeological offices in Barnard Castle for further analysis.
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