Coventry & Warwickshire

Roman coffin find: Remains 'could be a girl'

The two bracelets
Image caption Bracelets found in the coffin suggest the occupant was female, archaeologists say
Lead coffin
Image caption Scientists are testing the remains found in the bottom of the coffin

The remains of a child found in a Roman coffin "could be female", archaeologists have said.

The coffin was discovered in a field in Witherley, Leicestershire, in October.

Archaeologists from Warwickshire are studying two jet bracelets found in the coffin on Monday which they say "suggest the child was female".

They are now carrying out tests on "fragmentary skeletal remains" which they said could take five months to complete.

'Early Christian burial'

Stuart Palmer , of Archaeology Warwickshire, said: "We will carefully sift through these [remains] over the coming weeks to recover as much as possible and determine if there is anything suitable for detailed analysis.

"This will include the submission of a sample for a radiocarbon date which we hope will narrow down the possible date range for the burial."

Archaeologists believe the coffin, which is about 3ft (0.9m) long, was for the child of a wealthy family and represents an early example of Christian burial.

Mr Palmer described the coffin and its contents as "extremely significant".

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