Human remains found during roadworks dig in Huntingdon
- Credit: Archant
Centuries old bodies uncovered during excavation works at a road crossing in Huntingdon are “a mystery”, says senior archaeologist.
At least two skeletons were revealed at the site opposite the Old Bridge Hotel, in High Street, during work being carried out to pave the crossing.
It is thought the remains, in the centre on the road island, are to be from around the 18th to 19th century.
Andy Thomas, senior archaeologist for Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “We were called by Cambridgeshire police to tell us that the skeletons had been uncovered and asked us to determine how old they are.”
Since Thursday (February 25), when the remains were found, investigations have been carried out to find out why the bodies were buried in the spot.
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Mr Thomas told The Hunts Post: “It is a bit of a mystery as to why they are there. A colleague of mine has been looking into properties in that area but we haven’t been able to find a clear reason as to why they are there.
“We believe they are prior to the 20th century and would put them around 18th to 19th century as they have possibly been disturbed around that time.
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“The bones were clean and in very condition which could suggest that they are not Roman which would have been my first guess in that area.
“They could have been disturbed and reburied during 18th and 19th century building works.”
It has been ruled out that the bodies are less than 50 years old as a row of houses occupied the site in the 1960s prior to work starting to build what is now Huntingdon ring road.
“Before the road works were done in the 1960’s there were a row of houses there so it was clear that they weren’t that old,” added Mr Thomas.
The remains were uncovered by workmen from civil engineering company Breheny.
Foreman Simon Andrews, who discovered the remains, said: “There were two complete skeletons that were about a foot into the soil and we have found a lot of pieces since then.”
Cambridgeshire police were called to the scene and informed the coroner’s office about the find.
“After the archaeologist came out we were told that we could carry on working but we have been careful just in case we find anything else,” added Mr Andrews.
According to the workmen the remains were facing down which is believed to signify a pagan burial.