Twenty-six human skeletons, thought to be about 3,000 years old, have been found during excavations to lay new water pipes.
The discovery, reported by BBC News on 16th April 2019, was made during a £14.5m Thames Water project. The site is being excavated by Cotswold Archaeology. The skeletons are thought to date from the Iron Age and Roman periods, and it is possible that some of the remains may have been from ritual burials.
Cotswold Archaeology chief executive Neil Holbrook said: “The Iron Age site at Childrey Warren was particularly fascinating as it provided a glimpse into the beliefs and superstitions of people living in Oxfordshire before the Roman conquest. Evidence elsewhere suggests that burials in pits might have involved human sacrifice.”
Alongside the human remains, archaeologists also found evidence of dwellings, animal carcasses, household items including pottery, cutting implements and a decorative comb. The village of Childrey lies very close to the ancient track known as the Ridgeway and is not far from the site of the ancient White Horse carved into the hillside at Uffington.
The project in Childrey Warren is designed to ease pressure on a rare chalk stream known as Letcombe Brook. Instead, Thames Water plan to lay a 6km pipe to provide water to Oxfordshire villages from the River Thames.
Source: BBC news website
Text: Alun Harvey