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5 June 2004
Skull found in Derbyshire is 10,000-year-old

Experts have been piecing together the life of a woman who died in Long Eaton (Derbyshire, England) - up to 10,000 years ago. Working with just a scratched skull dug up last September during gravel extraction at a quarry within a quarter-of-a-mile of the River Trent, anthropologist Louise Humphrey has identified it as belonging to a right-handed woman who probably did a hard physical job. Cause of death is a mystery because there was no obvious evidence of disease or injury. Her body seems to have been buried near the Trent, which has over the centuries changed course.
     For years the skull - which was found minus face and lower jaw - would have been at the mercy of river water. Scoured and battered, it eventually came to rest in gravel. Det Con Mark Taylor, one of the first officers called to the scene when the skull was discovered by workmen, said: "The skull fell off the back of a lorry while they were making a track for vehicles. The next driver saw something which looked like a skull. He stopped and stopped everyone else." The skull was sent to the Natural History Museum in London once police were satisfied they were not dealing with a modern-day murder. Research revealed the skull was that of a young adult woman. Regarded as an important local find, the skull is likely to be returned to Long Eaton and will probably become a museum piece.

Source: This is Nottingham (3 June 2004)

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