The Wilts and Gloucester Standard reports that owners of a North Cotswolds pub in the UK have discovered the grave of an Iron Age skeleton buried under land they were hoping to turn into a parking lot. Nicknamed “Rusty”, the skeleton is believed to belong to a male and date to the late Iron Age, around 100BC.
After brothers Tom and Will Greenstock purchased the Horse and Groom in Bourton-on-the-Hill in 2005, they found the lack of parking for their customers to be problematic. So the brothers started the lengthy planning process, and were granted permission to build a new parking lot, with the condition that the site would undergo an archaeological excavation first.
Soon archaeologists working on the site discovered a series of medieval walls, which suggested that the site was once a “farming complex,” with 10 rooms arranged around a courtyard. According to the archaeologists this was an unusual layout for this period.
Then, after 11 weeks of digging, the team discovered the burial of a 2000 year old skeleton lying in a flexed position. The grave appears to belong to male who was was given a “full burial.”
After the excavation, “Rusty” will be sent to a bioarchaeology (osteoarchaeology) lab so that researchers can get more information, such as age at death and hopefully cause of death, then the skeleton will go to the Corinium Museum in Cirencester.
The archaeological team expects to finish excavation work before Christmas, when construction of the parking lot will continue.
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