A human skull found in woodland in Buckinghamshire belonged to an 18th Century man with severe toothache.
Bone deformation showed the man had severe toothache
The skull was found on 7 January by a member of the public walking his dog in Wendover Woods near Aylesbury.
Forensic archaeologists took DNA samples from a tooth and dated the skull between 1757 and 1788.
It belonged to a man aged between 20 and 40 who would have suffered from toothache as there was bone deformation caused by an abscess.
Thames Valley Police said that without the rest of the remains it was not possible to say how the man met his death.
It is believed animals had moved the skull to the area in which it was found as, despite a week-long search, no other remains were found.
Det Sgt Pete Foy said: "The team involved in the investigation worked hard, with inquiries going as far as the National Missing Persons Bureau.
"Initially the call came in as being a child's skull, and concerns were it could be more recent than it has turned out to be.
"Until we were sure of the age of the skull, this had to be treated as a potential murder investigation."