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11 July 2020 08:39

High Speed 2 Government Grant Shapps

Iron Age 'mystery' murder victim found in Wendover HS2 dig

Image copyright HS2 Image caption The man could have lived as much as 2,500 years ago and may have been murdered or executed. An Iron Age skeleton with his hands bound has been discovered by HS2 project archaeologists, who believe he may be a murder victim. The remains of the 2,000-year-old adult male was found face down at Wellwick Farm near Wendover in Buckinghamshire. Project archaeologist Dr Rachel Wood described the death as "a mystery" and hopes further analysis will shed light on the "potentially gruesome" find. Image copyright HS2 Image caption The archaeologists also found an Iron Age funerary monument, which would have been used only by "high status people" Image copyright HS2 Image caption This Iron Age gold coin called a stater dating from about about 100BC was found in a ditch near the funerary monument Dr Wood, who works for Fusion JV, said: "Discovering a site showing human activity spanning 4,000 years came as a bit of a surprise to us." A large Neolithic circular monument of wooden posts 65m (213 ft) in diameter and aligned with the winter solstice, "similar to Stonehenge", was uncovered.

Image copyright HS2 Image caption The Neolithic wooden circle, dating to between 4,000 to 5,000 years old, is seen as further evidence of the site's ritual importance over thousands of years During the Roman era it was used for burials and a "high status" skeleton buried in an "expensive" lead coffin was unearthed. Dr Wood said the fascinating thing about the site was its "persistent use over centuries for the burial of specific, high status people". 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. HS2 archaeologists have uncovered what they believe is the skeleton of a murder victim from the Iron Age. During excavation work at Wellwick Farm near Wendover, the skeleton of an adult male buried face down in a ditch with hands bound together under his pelvis was discovered. Experts believe the Iron Age man may have been the victim of a murder or execution and osteologist are currently examining the skeleton for further evidence of foul play.

The land to the west of Wendover also seems to have been persistently used for ceremonial activity as archaeologists also uncovered a large circular monument of wooden posts 65 metres in diameter with features aligned with the winter solstice - similar to Stonehenge in Wiltshire. At Wellwick Farm, archaeologists believe the Bronze Age and Iron Age saw some people living there, with at least one roundhouse identified and possible structures such as animal pens and pits used for disposing food. During the Roman period, this occupation may have moved to the current location of Wendover but the Wellwick Farm site was still used for burials. In a square enclosure on the site, archaeologists discovered a skeleton in a coffin that was lined with lead, with the outer coffin likely made of wood. Archaeologists believe that the buried individual must have been someone of high status as they had the means to pay for such an expensive method of burial.

"The large wooden ceremonial structure, the Roman lead burial and the mystery of the skeleton at Wellwick Farm helps bring alive the fact that people lived, worked and died in this area long before we came along." Archaeologists believe clues point towards the Iron Age man being a victim of a murder or execution. The man's skeletal remains were found at Wellwick Farm near Wendover, Buckinghamshire. The remains were buried face down in a ditch with the hands bound together under the pelvis. Dr Rachel Wood, the project archaeologist, said: "We already knew that Buckinghamshire is rich in archaeology but discovering a site showing human activity spanning 4,000 years came as a bit of a surprise to us. "The death of the Wellwick Farm man remains a mystery to use but there aren't many ways you end up in a bottom of a ditch, face down, with your hands bound.

Excavation work in the area has revealed human activity dating from the Neolithic to the Medieval period, a time spanning around 4,000 years. The skeleton of a man believed to have been murdered or executed during the Iron Age has been found during HS2 archaeological works. He was buried face down with his hands tied together in a ditch at Wellwick Farm near Wendover, Buckinghamshire. Project archaeologist Dr Rachel Wood said: "We already knew that Buckinghamshire is rich in archaeology but discovering a site showing human activity spanning 4,000 years came as a bit of a surprise to us. "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.

Archaeological works are being carried out on the route of the HS2 high-speed railway.