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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 August 2006, 12:29 GMT 13:29 UK
Dig clues point to Roman murder
Skull
The skeleton inside the oven is an unusual find, experts say
A crime that has remained undetected for 1,500 years has been uncovered by an archaeological team working at the village of Sedgeford, in Norfolk.

A human skeleton was found hidden in what would have been a Roman corn drier, and experts believe the person was deliberately put inside.

The six-week excavation on the former Roman farm will end this week.

The skeleton was found by a team from Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project (SHARP).

On-site human remains expert Zannah Baldry said the body appeared to have been pushed into the oven and then set alight.

Radiocarbon dating

Project director and Roman expert Dr Neil Faulkner said: "A discovery like this is very rare, but such things are not completely unknown."

The skeleton will be studied by human remains specialists, who will attempt to establish the person's age, sex and perhaps the cause of death.

Bone samples will be sent for radiocarbon dating.

Dr Faulkner said: "Who was this person? We can only speculate. Perhaps a tax collector or the landlord's bailiff - a hate figure of the old regime.

"Or maybe this was just a casual crime, an old score settled, in a world where the chances of getting caught were less."

Work is continuing on the site for another week, and archaeologists will return next summer to continue their investigations.




SEE ALSO
Iron Age coin hoard found
13 Aug 03 |  Norfolk

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