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Friday, 14 December, 2001, 11:06 GMT
Road builders find Saxon remains
19 skeletons have been found, BBC
Each skeleton has its own grave
Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of 19 Saxon settlers, including children, at the site of a bypass being built in Buckinghamshire, in the south of England.

Scientists say the burial site is pre-Christian and includes artefacts such as daggers and necklaces.

Later on Friday, the last skeleton will be removed from what is said to be an Iron Age ditch near the village of Aston Clinton, on the A41 between Tring and Aylesbury.

Experts were alerted in August to the possibility of remains on the route of the 21m bypass being built by Balfour Beatty.

Skeletons are in individual graves, BBC
All are pointing north
Excavation of the site began in November with the remains being transferred into the care of Buckinghamshire County Council's museum service so they can be dated.

Cosima Duggal, from the Highways Agency, which is monitoring the site, said: "It's very exciting to find something like this. We think this is a pagan site and the bodies are very well preserved."

The remains are thought to come from two generations of the same family group. The skeletons were all facing north, which is an indication that they date from pre-Christian time.

Andy Finch, an engineer with the Highways Agency, said: "This is a wonderful find. We just didn't expect to get so much."

No decision's been taken yet on the ultimate destination of the bodies.



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