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Last Updated: Friday, 20 January 2006, 10:03 GMT
School dig uncovers Roman grave
Skeleton uncovered at Kings of Wessex School
The skeleton was found during construction of a new IT block
A Roman grave has been uncovered during building works at a school in Cheddar in Somerset.

Construction of the new IT block at the Kings of Wessex School was paused when the skeleton was found during digging of a gas main.

Experts believe it be of a man aged about 50, who was buried in a coffin and was probably a pagan.

County council archaeologist, Steven Membery, described the discovery as a "really significant find."

"Although we think he was probably buried in the late Roman period, about 1600 years ago it is possible that he actually lived in the Dark Ages in the 5th or 6th centuries AD," he said.

"We are sending off a bone for radio-carbon dating to discover exactly when this individual died."

The man is thought to have been buried fully clothed as shown by the preserved hobnails from his boots and a copper alloy earring found near his skull.

Archaeologist Heidi Dawson, who recorded and excavated the skeleton, said: "He had been buried orientated north-south which indicates he was a pagan, as Christian graves are normally east-west."

Experts are continuing to monitor the construction work.

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