Iron Age woman's footless body found near West Knoyle

Remains found near West Knoyle in Wiltshire Along with the female skeleton were found the remains of a 10-year-old child and two males with sword wounds

Related Stories

A skeleton of an Iron Age woman with her feet chopped off has been discovered in a field in Wiltshire.

The remains were found along the A303, near West Knoyle, by archaeologists ahead of a new water main being laid.

Wessex Water said the woman's feet were found "reburied alongside her" along with the carcasses of at least two sheep or goats "on her head".

Peter Cox, from AC Archaeology, said: "We're unsure why - but it must have some link to beliefs at the time."

The female skeleton was found alongside the remains of a child aged about 10 and two males with sword wounds to their hips.

'Bad spirits'

Wessex Water is currently building a 40-mile (64km) pipeline to carry water from a Dorset treatment plant into Wiltshire.

It was during a pre-work survey of the West Knoyle area that AC Archaeology unearthed the Iron Age burial site.

"Human remains from these periods are very rare and indicate the long period of settlement that has occurred in the area," said Mr Cox.

"But we're unsure why the female skeleton has been found without her feet or why she may have been buried with sheep, but perhaps it was to protect her soul from bad spirits."

The bones have been removed from the site and will undergo radiocarbon dating to determine their age.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Wiltshire

Weather

Swindon

18 °C 13 °C

Features & Analysis

  • Cerro RicoSatanic mines

    Devil worship in the tunnels of the man-eating mountain


  • Nefertiti MenoeWar of words

    The woman who sparked a row over 'speaking white'


  • Oil pumpPump change

    What would ending the US oil export ban do to petrol prices?


  • Brazilian Scene, Ceara, in 1893Sir Snapshot

    19th Century Brazil seen through the eyes of an Englishman


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • SailingGame on

    BBC Capital discovers why certain sports seem to have a special appeal for those with deep pockets

Programmes

  • European Union's anti-terrorism chief Gilles de KerchoveHARDtalk Watch

    Anti-terrorism chief Gilles de Kerchove on the threat from returning Islamic State fighters

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.