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12 December 2013
Ancient skeleton found in North Yorkshire sewer trench

An ancient skeleton has been discovered in a sewer trench under Sutton Street, in the village of Norton-Upon-Derwent (North Yorkshire, England). Contractors from Yorkshire Water were installing sewers when they made the discovery.
     Chris Pole, of Northern Archaeological Associates, said a Roman cemetery was located alongside the adjacent Langton Road, which follows a similar line to a Roman road leading south-east from the Roman fort at Malton and the settlement of Derventio (Norton).
     Mr Pole said bodies were not buried within the limits of a town in Roman times because this was regarded as unclean. Because of the position of the skeleton there was also a chance it could be older than Roman, Mr Pole said. "It was in a crouched or foetal position, possibly mirroring birth and was located within the limits of a Roman cemetery but it has similarities with burials of prehistoric date," Mr Pole said. "No grave goods were placed with the burial," he added.
     The 'remarkably intact' skeleton has been taken to archaeological offices in Barnard Castle for tests to determine its age, sex, and, if possible, a cause of death.

Edited from BBC News (5 December 2013)

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