Middleton Cheney: Building site bones 1,000 years old

Some of the remains found by workers on a building site in Milddleton Cheney The remains of a man, woman and infant were found on a building site in Middleton Cheney

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Human remains discovered on a building site in south Northamptonshire are more than 1,000 years old, tests have found.

Site workers in Main Road, Middleton Cheney, discovered the remains of a man, woman and infant, in December.

Northamptonshire Police said carbon dating had established that the remains date from between the late 7th and early 9th Century.

Archaeologists believe the three may be a family. Police said the bones included an infant aged up to two.

The woman was older than 45 and the man was aged between 35 and 45.

'Succumbed to disease'

A police spokesman said: "All three remains were in a single grave which archaeologists initially believed was positioned in a manner that is consistent with a Christian style burial.

"However, because of the age of the remains and because there are no other Christian burial sites in the area, it is now more likely they are of a family who succumbed to a disease at the same time and were buried at the edge of a settlement."

Det Sgt Sean Arbuthnot, of Northamptonshire Police, said: "We have a responsibility to establish the circumstances of death when human remains are found, although only on those remains which are less than 100 years old, which is why we had to establish the age of these bones.

"The results of the carbon dating show that the remains are more than 1,000 years old, so there is no further requirement for us to investigate."

Part of a skull found among the remains Northamptonshire Police said officers needed to establish the age of the bones

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