Page last updated at 09:27 GMT, Tuesday, 15 September 2009 10:27 UK

Skeleton found at Roman town dig


The male skeleton was found lying on its back with its hands tied behind its back

A complete skeleton dating from the 4th Century has been unearthed by archaeologists in Norfolk.

The buried Roman town of Venta Icenorum at Caistor St Edmund is being excavated to find out whether there is a much older settlement on the site.

The male skeleton was found in a pit lying on its side with its hands tied behind its back and the legs folded so the body could fit in the space.

The skeleton has been removed for tests on the bones to be carried out.

Questions answered

Professor Will Bowden, who is leading the dig, said finding the bones would give them an indication of the status and social class of the inhabitants of the area.

"Once we begin to look at the bones and start to analyse them, we'll be able to start answering questions about the diet of this person, where they actually came from... what they were eating and what sort of lifestyle they actually had."

Excavations at the buried town were first carried out in 1929, after the site was found by aerial photographs.

A geophysical survey was carried out two years ago, which showed possible prehistoric features beneath the town.

Archaeologists believe the town was built on top of a settlement from the Iceni tribe.

The excavations are open to the public, free of charge, until 19 September.

The site is owned by the Norfolk Archaeological Trust and managed by South Norfolk Council.

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