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Human Remains Date Back More Than 1,000 Years

February 20th, 2013

Middleton Cheney BonesHuman remains discovered at a building site in Middleton Cheney in December last year date back more than 1,000 years, according to Northamptonshire Police. The remains of three people – an infant aged 0-2 years, a woman older than 45 and a man aged between 35 and 45 – were found at the site in Main Road, Middleton Cheney, on Friday December 7.

Archaeologists had previously stated that the remains date from somewhere between the Roman and post-mediaeval period. However, carbon dating has revealed they were buried between the late 7th and early 9th centuries. All three bodies were in a single grave, which archaeologists initially believed was positioned in a manner consistent with a Christian-style burial. Due to the age of the remains, though, and because there are no other Christian burial sites in the area, it is now felt more likely they are of family members who succumbed to a disease at the same time and were buried at the edge of a settlement.

Detective Sergeant Sean Arbuthnot from Northampton CID, said: “We have a responsibility to establish the circumstances of death when human remains are found, although only on those remains which are less than 100 years old, which is why we had to establish the age of these bones. The results of the carbon dating show that the remains are more than 1,000 years old, so there is no further requirement for us to investigate.”

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