Bodies found in dig at A14 site may have met a violent end

One of the bodies that were found

One of the bodies that were found - Credit: Archant

Archaeological finds dating back thousands of years have been unearthed during the latest works on the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon upgrade, including a pair of unusual burials.

The two people that were found

The two people that were found - Credit: Archant

Two bodies were among the major finds on a 74-acre site which was excavated by Mola Headland Archaeologists, with the bodies having both had their legs chopped off and their skulls smashed in, with their legs found by their shoulders.

Placed in a T-shape, the lower legs of both individuals had been repositioned within their graves. Archaeologists say it is possible the legs were relocated whilst they were still partially fleshed.

Detailed analysis of the remains is required to discover more about the circumstances of the burial and to further understand how the bones have come to be out of place.

A spokesman for Mola said: “It is possible that the individuals were victims of violence; alternatively the bones may have been repositioned following a natural death and may reflect burial practices carried out as part of the funerary process.”

The Roman ditch that was found

The Roman ditch that was found - Credit: Archant

Amongst other findings was a Roman ditch, measuring roughly 3m wide and 1.5m deep, which would have formed a boundary with a raised bank beside it.

Archaeologists are exploring the theory that it may in fact be the remains of an earlier and very large temporary Roman military camp.

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Other items that were found include Roman pottery production. So far archaeologists have uncovered 40 early Roman pottery kilns. Although it was hoped that some evidence for pottery production would be found, discoveries of this scale were not anticipated by experts working on the site.

The kilns demonstrate how the local production of Roman pottery was established and developed over a couple of centuries.

There is evidence that Romans used trial and error with the technology and techniques in the pottery that has been found.

Other Roman archaeological remains discovered on the site include a trade distribution centre controlled by the army, a horse burial, as well as extensive evidence for Roman settlements, farming and networks of roads and trackways for trade.

The many Roman artefacts recovered reveal the everyday goings on of Roman Cambridgeshire. Some include a copper-alloy brooch found near Brampton, a complete ceramic Roman flask with painted line decoration and continental Roman copper-alloy plate brooch with enamelled decoration and animal head terminals.