I’ve written before about the importance of archeology conducted when big new works are constructed it happens almost on a daily basis in the U.K. and I noticed another fascinating one a few days ago relating to the works surrounding the High Speed Rail project.
One site at Wellwick Farm in Buckinghamshire has revealed thousands of years deaths and monuments from the Neolithic era to Medieval times that all have to be documented and excavated prior to the trains roaring past at 225mph (362km/h).
A Stonehenge-style wooden formation and Roman burial has been discovered which is 213 feet or 65m diameter which is aligned to the winter solstice.
The site also has evidence of domestic occupation during the Bronze to Iron Ages (3000BC to AD43), including a roundhouse and animal pits. Then during the Roman era it was used for burials and a “high status” skeleton buried in an “expensive” lead coffin was unearthed.
An archeologist overseeing work on the site called Dr Rachel Wood said the fascinating thing about the site was its “persistent use over centuries for the burial of specific, high status people”.
One discovery however stands out and that is an Iron Age skeleton with his hands bound . His remains are over 2,000 years old and he is face down in a ditch which leads to the possibility that he was either executed or murdered.
Project archaeologist Dr Rachel Wood described the death as “a mystery” and hopes further analysis will shed light on the “potentially gruesome” find.
Dr Wood said: “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. We hope our osteologists will be able to shed more light on this potentially gruesome death.”
To read about how some Victorians dealt with their dead, look no further than Dancing on the Dead at Enon Chapel – The Victorian Sensation!