|24 July 2004
Skeletons traced back to the Iron Age
Last summer six skeletons were unearthed on a disused garage site in Gargrave (Yorkshire, England). The site was being excavated by archaeologists who discovered two skeletons in July and four more in September. The six skeletons were sent to Miami for carbon dating and scientists there found the bodies to date from between 340 BCE and 100 CE. This would make them late Iron Age, early Roman.
The scientists revealed that the bodies comprised three females and two males. They were unable to determine the sex of the sixth skeleton. One of the males is thought to have been 36 years old and the undetermined skeleton is believed to be aged six to nine. The age of the other skeletons are estimated at between 26 to 35.
The Heritage Unit of North Yorkshire County Council advised that an archaeological evaluation was necessary prior to the development of the site to establish the nature and extent of any archaeological remains in the area. As a result a team from the West Yorkshire Archaeology Service (WYAS) was employed to evaluate the site. They opened three trenches at a depth of one-and-a-half metres. The team initially had difficulty dating the remains because two of the skeletons had been bound with their legs pulled tightly into their chests.
The remains were believed to have been those of manual workers due to the stresses found on certain parts of the bones. No disease was found in the bones so it is assumed that all deaths were natural. The report written by WYAS suggests that the site was a cemetery, which was later settled on in the 13th century.
Source: Craven Herald, This is Bradford.co.uk (23 July 2004)
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