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21 May 2003
Iron Age skull found in England

An Ancient skull thought to be that of an Iron Age man has been found in a field near Fiskerton, east of Lincoln (England), by 34-year-old Erik Grigg. Shocked by what could have been a gruesome discovery Mr Grigg called the police. Officers visited the field and took away the head for forensic analysis but determined that it had belonged to someone who died thousands of years ago.
     The skull has since been examined by forensic scientists at the University of Lincoln, and specialists at the Lincoln City Archaeology Unit. Dr Ron Dixon, a principal lecturer in forensic science at the university's department of biological sciences, said: "We don't know very much about it at the moment. Although it could be from the late Iron Age - which would place it in a similar time bracket to other archaeological finds from the area - it could also have been part of a graveyard, or even a medieval fill-site." "It is fairly complete," he added, "And it has been out in the environment. A find of this sort is quite rare, but it does happen from time to time.
     The skull was found in an area which, in recent years, was discovered to be an Iron Age causeway in that region of the River Witham. Wooden posts in the ground turned out to be part of a 2,500-year-old trackway, probably built so early Britons could cross marshy areas. Excavations in the area have unearthed a wide range of ancient artefacts, including swords, axes, and an almost perfectly preserved log boat.
     The newly-discovered skull will now be dried out and cleaned up in a process which will take many weeks to complete. It is hoped that samples from soil packed into the skull will show where the skull originated. Following a thorough examination the skull will be kept at the university as a teaching aid.

Source: This is Lincolnshire (16 May 2003)

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