A skeleton believed to be a murder victim of the Iron Age was unearthed by archaeologists working on a high-speed railroad project in the United Kingdom.
The adult male skeleton was buried face down in a ditch with his hands bound together near excavation work for the High Speed 2 (HS2) railway system at Wellwick Farm near Wendover.
His unusual position suggests that he may have been the victim of a murder or execution, archeologists said.
The project has led to a series of remarkable discoveries spanning a 4,000-year period, but archaeologists said the grisly find “came as a bit of a surprise.”
“The death of the Wellwick Farm man remains a mystery to us but there aren’t many ways you end up in a bottom of a ditch, face down, with your hands bound,” Project Archaeologist Dr. Rachel Wood said in a statement.
“We hope our osteologists will be able to shed more light on this potentially gruesome death.”
The skeleton was not the only remains uncovered at the farm site, which was inhabited by Britons during both the Bronze and Iron ages.
The group also discovered a skeleton in a coffin that was lined with lead — with the outer parts likely made of wood.
They believe that the buried individual must have been someone of high status since they had the means to pay for such an expensive method of burial.
There have been signs occupation, including a roundhouse, animal pens, and waste pits, also uncovered at the site.
Lead archaeologist Mike Court said the discoveries will be shared with the public through virtual lectures, as well as an upcoming documentary.
“Before we build the low-carbon high-speed railway between London and Birmingham, we are uncovering a wealth of archaeology that will enrich our cultural heritage,” he said.
“The sheer scale of possible discoveries, the geographical span and the vast range of our history to be unearthed makes HS2’s archaeology program a unique opportunity to tell the story of Buckinghamshire and Britain.”
With Post wires
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