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17 August 2008
3,500-year-old remains unearthed in Cornwall

A 3,500-year-old Bronze Age skeleton, found beside a beach, could be a tribal chieftain, archaeologists believe. The discovery of the middle-aged man's remains and burial casket, or cisk, was made by an amateur archaeologist, Trevor Renals, as walked on Constantine Island, North Cornwall (England). It was regarded as unusual because cremation rather than burial was popular in the bronze-age period and skeletons are not normally found in such a well preserved state.
     A spokesman for the National Trust, which owns the land, said: "As soon as we found out we had to make arrangements for it to be excavated because of the danger of it going into the sea. It is believed the man was from the middle bronze age, between 1380 and 1100 BCE, and he may have been an important member of his community. The spokesman added: "We don't know how tall he would have been because the long bones were fragmented. Little is known about him but he may have been of importance to the small community that he would have come from as it appears that special care was taken over his burial.
     Mr Renals said: "I was walking along the coast, which is a particularly rich area for remains. I was actually looking for flint and there was one area that was particularly eroded from pedestrian access. While searching one particular area I found a front tooth and another piece of bone and I looked to see where it had come from. I could see from the bit of flint sticking out of the ground that it was actually a stone-lined cisk."
     The discovery was made last October but it has taken nearly a year for the remains to removed, and carbon dated.

Source: Telegraph.co.uk (15 August 2008)

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