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1 March 2014
Bronze Age skeleton removed from school playground

The 4000-year-old remains of the skeleton of a small Bronze Age man were recently removed from his grave a metre beneath the playground of Victoria Primary School in Newhaven, Edinburgh (Scotland), by archaeologists surveying  ahead of a proposed school extension.
     The archaeologists stumbled upon the well-preserved bones in late January while looking for evidence of the village's medieval harbour. The body was curled up in a foetal position common in the Bronze Age, alongside a pottery vessel.
     Archaeologists who excavated the site initially thought there were two skeletons, but the remains belonged to one person, thought to be a male around 160 centimetres in height and 50 years of age. His worn teeth show he had a high grain diet of stone-ground bread. Further analysis will now be undertaken in a bid to discover more about his life, and death.
     John Lawson, Edinburgh City Council's archaeology officer, said: "It is a remarkable discovery as we know very little about prehistoric burials in Edinburgh."
     Project manager Rob Engl, of Edinburgh-based AOC Archaeology, said: "You don't get many crouched inhumations in school yards so this was very unexpected. Being so close to the sea we were looking for the harbour, but this shows people were living here in prehistoric times."
     Victoria Primary Head teacher Laura Thomson said the children had been inspired by the work and had taken part in workshops arranged by the archaeologists.

Edited from Edinburgh Evening News (13 February 2014)

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