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17 November 2010
Prehistoric finds on the Isle of Man

Neolithic urns dating back 4,000 years together with Bronze Age burial cists have been uncovered by archaeologists at a dig near the Balthane industrial estate in Ballasalla (Isle of Man). Both digs are being carried out by teams from Oxford Archaeology, and Marc Storey, who is project officer leading the dig says "It's an impressive site. We've not found that much domestic evidence. We don't think people were actually living here but it was being used when they died. There might have been a specific area set aside so the dead could be interred."
     Four urns have been unearthed with what are most likely to be cremated remains inside and are expected to date from the late Neolithic period, but according to Mr Storey, they have not been lifted yet. Also found at the site are three Bronze Age graves, which are rectangular in shape and lined with stone. The site is now a field that is to become an industrial waste recycling plant, but once featured what had been two or three glacial drumlins with evidence of a river flowing between them.
     Mr Storey also worked on last years excavations at Ronaldsway and said the whole area showed the largest concentration of remains that he has ever dug and that there is evidence of continuous human use dating back 8,000 years to the Mesolithic Period. Initially, the Oxford Archaeology team only had three weeks to excavate the area, but the contractors, JCK, have agreed to let excavations continue.

Edited from Iom.today.co.im (9 November 2010)

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