Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Archaeologists discover skeleton in doctor’s garden

A skeleton, possibly dating from Roman times, has been unearthed by archaeologists from the University of Bristol during a dig in the garden of vaccination pioneer Dr Edward Jenner in Berkeley, Gloucestershire.

The archaeologists, led by Professor Mark Horton and Dr Stuart Prior, have been excavating part of the garden of The Chantry, the former country home of vaccination pioneer, Dr Edward Jenner (1749-1823), during a series of annual digs since 2007.  They have already established that Berkeley is an important Anglo-Saxon site with a mynster of the same scale and status as Gloucester.

Last week, they uncovered a skeleton believed to date from the Roman or possibly sub-Roman (that is the ‘Dark Ages’) period.  The Roman occupation of Britain ended in 410AD, making this an extremely rare find of great historical significance.

As the skeleton was painstakingly excavated it became clear that it was cut in half by a later ditch.  Roman material was found in this ditch, which could have either been deposited by the Romans themselves or later inhabitants of the area as they were robbing the Roman buildings nearby.

More at University Of Bristol