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Last Updated: Monday, 6 June, 2005, 19:00 GMT 20:00 UK
Iron Age remains found at castle
A team of university archaeologists has uncovered the remains of an Iron Age settlement in the grounds of a Gloucestershire castle.

The group, from the University of Bristol, found fragments of human bones and prehistoric flint tools in the gardens of Berkeley castle.

The discoveries were made by students taking part in a training excavation.

Mark Horton, head of archaeology, said: "To find prehistoric remains is an exciting and unexpected discovery."

Parts of a ring ditch, which may have circled a house, were also uncovered in an area below the castle's Victorian flowerbeds and greenhouses.

Berkeley castle has been owned and inhabited by the same family since 1156, but little is known about the early history of the site.

"It is possible this settlement was located on a small ridge of high ground, to be visible from the River Severn, and might even had been located to help prehistoric navigation," Dr Horton said.

The excavations are due to be filled in, but it is hoped the artefacts will be put on display for visitors to the castle.


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