A skeleton of an adult male believed to be a murder victim from the Iron Age (500 BC – 332 BC) has been found at Wellwick Farm near Wendover, Buckinghamshire. It was found when archaeologists were working on the HS2 project in South East England.
When the archaeologists found the remains they noticed that skeleton was face down in a ditch with the hands bound together under the pelvis. Currently, osteologists are examining the bones found from Wellwick Farm for signs of foul play.
HS2 Archaeology Project
As per the project archaeologist, Dr. Rachel Wood, his team 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," Wood said.
The researcher explained that the death of the Wellwick Farm man is still a mystery too but there are not many ways "you end up in a bottom of a ditch, face down, with your hands bound." Now the archaeologists are hoping that the osteologists will be able to shed more light on the mystery around the Iron Age man's death.
The archaeologists who have been working in the region revealed a wealth of discoveries dating back to 4,000 years. As per the researchers, these findings are evidence of human activity from the Neolithic Stone Age (10,000–4,500 BC) to the Medieval ages (476 AD – 1453).
Finding of Archaeological Evidence
Researchers have revealed that the western side of Wendover appears to have been used for ceremonial activities. Archaeologists have discovered large circular monuments of wooden posts, measure 213-ft across, and are aligned with the winter solstice, almost like the Stonehenge in Wiltshire.
In terms of Wellwick Farm, the archaeologists believe that the Bronze Age, which lasted between 3000 BC – 1200 BC, and Iron Age saw the addition of some domestic occupation. Researchers found at least one roundhouse which has been identified with possible structures used as animal pens or for food disposal. However, researchers believe that the Wellwick Farm site may have still been used for burials.
Near Wendover, the HS2 archaeologists have also found a Roman Age skeleton buried in a coffin lined with lead. The finding revealed that the outer layer of the coffin was most probably made of wood and its occupant would have been someone of high status in society.
Wood explained that the large ceremonial structure, the Roman lead burial, and the mystery of the skeleton at Wellwick Farm helped the researchers to understand that "people lived, worked, and died in this area long before we came along."
The announcement of the new finding was made just before the beginning of the annual Festival of British Archaeology, from July 11 and July 19. During this festival, HS2 will host digital events to reveal their recent archaeological discoveries.
Upcoming documentary on BBC
The HS2 Lead Archaeologist, Mike Court said the findings will be shared with communities and the public through virtual lectures and will be featured in an upcoming BBC archaeology documentary. He said, "The sheer scale of possible discoveries, the geographical span and the vast range of our history to be unearthed makes HS2's archaeology program a unique opportunity to tell the story of Buckinghamshire and Britain."
Court also mentioned that before building a low-carbon high-speed railway between London and Birmingham, HS2 will uncover the wealth of archaeology that will enrich the cultural heritage. HS2's archaeological program is part of Phase One the rail project, connecting London and Birmingham.