11 July 2020 08:39
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 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.
Archaeological works are being carried out on the route of the HS2 high-speed railway.