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21 February 2004
Bronze Age cremation site unearthed in Derby

The remains of people who lived in Derby (England) 3,500 years ago have been found on the site of a derelict hotel in Littleover. Archaeologists say the Bronze Age cremation site, containing burial urns dating back to 1500 BCE, is the oldest historical exhibit found intact in Derby. A major highway used by Roman armies from 70 CE was also discovered, along with the boundaries of what is thought to be an Iron Age field.
     The finds were made as excavation work was carried out on the Pastures Hill side of the former Forte Post House hotel, which closed in 2001. The work was being carried out by archaeology experts ahead of a proposed housing development. Dr Andrew Myers, Derbyshire County Council's development control archaeologist, said during the dig the team found a Bronze Age cremation cemetery. On excavating one of the six cremations, they found burnt human bones inside a burial urn. "It's the earliest intact archaeology that has been excavated in the whole of Derby," said Dr Myers.  "There were also several pit-like finds in a row. They were identified as Iron Age, and may be part of field boundaries dating back to 500 BCE.
     Joan D'Arcy, of Derbyshire Archaeological Society, said: "We had no idea that there was any Bronze Age or Iron Age occupation in that area." When the discovered items have been investigated they will be displayed at Derby Museum and Art Gallery in the Strand.

Source: This is Derbyshire, Evening Telegraph (21 February 2004)

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