Saxon skeleton among discoveries in Aylesham

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A Saxon skeleton, Bronze Age urns and Roman domestic objects were unearthed during a dramatic excavation in Aylesham this week.

Saxon skeleton among discoveries in Aylesham
The Saxon skeleton was unearthed in Aylesham 
[Credit: Canterbury Times]

The discoveries, some of which are likely to date back more than 2,000 years, were made by archaeologists at the building site of the Aylesham expansion.

A well-preserved skeleton thought to be from the Saxon era – therefore up to 1,500 years old – was lifted from an ancient burial ground by experts.

Also found were middle Bronze Age cremation urns and Roman ditches full of domestic items.

All will be offered to Dover Museum after tests have been carried out.

Dr Paul Wilkinson of SWAT Archaeology, which led the excavation, told the Express: “The guys doing the dig are excited.

“The Bronze Age urns are rare, exotic and wonderful and the ditches were full of very nice Roman domestic property so there was obviously a settlement nearby.

“We will be sending an enquiry to Dover Museum as that would be the ideal place for them, but they would have to take the whole lot.”

Saxon skeleton among discoveries in Aylesham
The skeleton will be donated to the Dover museum 
[Credit: Canterbury Times]

The discoveries are securely stored at SWAT’s offices in Faversham.

Post-excavation work on the skeletons will take place under the gaze of Dr Chris Deter at the Human Osteology Research Lab at the School of Anthropology and Conservation at the University of Kent.

They hope to determine significant information about the area’s ancient occupants, including analysis of teeth and bones, which could show whether they were natives, and carbon-footing to help pinpoint a more specific date.

A spokesman for Aylesham Garden Village developers Barratt Homes and Persimmon Homes said: “Following initial pre-construction investigation, we had anticipated the land would be of archaeological interest and employed a local archaeological company to liaise with the archaeologist at Kent County Council to ensure potential finds were appropriately and sympathetically dealt with.

“Both Barratt Homes and Persimmon Homes are committed to being responsible house builders, working closely with the SWAT archaeologists and liaising with the county archaeologist ensuring everything is being preserved and recorded in accordance with national guidelines.

Source: Canterbury Times [November 27, 2014]

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