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24 May 2010
Iron Age site in England yields bones of pregnant woman

An excavation at the ancient Fin Cop hill fort in Peak District National Park, Derbyshire (England) has unearthed the bones of a pregnant woman who was 21 to 30 years of age when she died. Her approximately 2000 year-old remains were found under a collapsed rampart. It appears that she was thrown in a ditch as the stone wall of the fort was being breached.  The original purpose of the excavation was to determine how and when the ramparts were built, and scientists were surprised to find a female in a military site.
     A grant of 50,000 pounds has been awarded to the Longstone Local History Group to do further study in the area, with the assistance of Archaeological Research Services Ltd. Jim Brightman, a project manager at the dig commented on the importance of examining remains and artifacts in the laboratory to fill in important details. "Quite a lot of very important finds cannot look like much on site. But when you get back to the lab, throw the scientific techniques and analysis at them, that's when you start to get the story out. The bones are a great example of that, we found out so much more by analysing them." A second excavation is planned at the location, funded by the lottery.

Source: BBC News (19 May 2010)

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