| 3 March 2008
Bronze Age tombs unearthed at a road site in Britain
Archaeologists have unearthed an ancient burial ground at the site of a major new road. Evidence of two Bronze Age tombs dating back some 4,000 years were found during work on the Earl Shilton bypass (Leicestershire, England). They were spotted after an archaeological survey of the site uncovered what would have been mounds of earth, or barrows. However, the work on the find has added about £150,000 to the cost of the bypass, which was due to finish by the end of this year.
Richard Clark, senior planning archaeologist for the county council, said the discovery of the tombs had not delayed work on the bypass. Mr Clark said the tombs would have been created for people of "significant status". He said: "The land above the site had been ploughed flat over the years and so there was no visible evidence of the barrows before our survey of the site. "They would have been an obvious feature of the landscape in the subsequent 1,000 years after they were built. Land boundaries from that time are focused on the site so this would have been a focal point for people for a long time."
The £150,000 has paid for the archaeological investigation of the tombs required under planning guidelines, which included a team of experts carefully excavating the site last autumn. The findings, which also included evidence of human bones and pottery making, are still being studied by University of Leicester experts.
Source: Leicester Mercury (27 February 2008)
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