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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 February, 2005, 06:09 GMT
Mummified body found during dig
Archaeologist at dig (generic)
The coffin is thought to date from Roman times
Archaeologists working in York have discovered an ancient coffin containing a preserved body.

Workers made the find during development work and discovered the body had been mummified using a rare technique.

The body, possibly dating from Roman times, has been well so well preserved historians are hoping the facial features can still be seen.

The coffin is being taken to the York Museum Trust for examination on Tuesday

A spokesman explained the discovery of the mummification technique, known as the gypsum technique, is the first to be found during a modern dig.

"If we are very lucky the face may not have been covered so it is possible the actual features of the individual may have been preserved.

"It may be possible to actually look into the face of one of our ancestors," he said.

The coffin will be taken to a storage site and later rehoused at the Yorkshire Museum.

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