Hundreds of dismembered skeletons found during HS2 building work


A team of around 50 archaeologists made the startling discovery of beheaded Roman skeletons during an excavation being carried out at Fleet Marston, near Aylesbury, in Buckinghamshire

Around 40 beheaded skeletons were among 425 bodies exhumed by HS2 archaeologists
Around 40 beheaded skeletons were among 425 bodies exhumed by HS2 archaeologists

Archaeologists excavating along the high-speed HS2 rail route have made a chilling discovery of 40 beheaded Roman skeletons.

The dismembered bodies were found with their skulls between their legs and were among 425 bodies.

The team of around 50 archaeologists made the discovery during an excavation being carried out at Fleet Marston, near Aylesbury, in Buckinghamshire, The Express reported.

One possible explanation for the unusual find is that the decapitated skeletons may have belonged to criminals or outcasts.

However, the bones will need to undergo proper analysis before a full conclusion can be reached.

This will be completed by the researchers who will be hoping to discover new insights about Roman civilization.

A bell found at the HS2 archaeological dig near Aylebury
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Roman pottery found by the team of archaeologists
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It is understood that although decapitation may be a horrific act in modern times, the Romans saw it as a “normal, albeit marginal, burial rite” in the late Roman period.

More than 1,200 coins and several lead weights were also found on-site, which could suggest that the excavated area was once a thriving location for trade and commerce.

And a hoard of domestic objects including spoons, pins and brooches were also uncovered.

Over 1,200 coins were also found on-site
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Gaming dice and bells were also found which could mean that the Romans gambled here and took part in religious activities.

Helen Wass, head of heritage at HS2 Ltd said: “The HS2 archeology program has enabled us to learn more about our rich history in Britain.

“The large Roman cemetery at Fleet Marston will enable us to gain a detailed insight into the residents of Fleet Marston and the wider Roman Britain landscape.

A corn dryer discovered at the site
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One of dozens of Roman skeletons found with their heads placed between their legs
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“All human remains uncovered will be treated with dignity, care, and respect and our discoveries will be shared with the community.”

Richard Brown, Senior Project Manager for COPA, said: “The excavation is significant in both enabling a clear characterization of this Roman town but also a study of many of its inhabitants.”

This excavation took more than a year and was done by a team from Cotswold Archeology and Oxford Archeology (Copa).

The 50-strong team uncovered the remains at a cemetery in Fleet Marston near Aylesbury
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A Roman brooch found at the site
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They were working on behalf of an HS2 contractor.

And this is not the only shocking find that archaeologists have made along the HS2 line.

In fact, Fleet Marston is just one out of over 100 archaeological sites that have been excavated since 2018.

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www.mirror.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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