Ancient skeleton found during Norton sewer works

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An ancient skeleton dating back to Roman times has been uncovered during sewer improvement works in the village of Norton.

Yorkshire Water has been working in the Sutton Street installing new sewersunder the road to reduce the chance of flooding to local properties.

When excavating one of the trenches the team discovered a remarkably intact skeleton around two metres below the road surface.

Chris Pole, project officer for Northern Archaeological Associates Ltd (NAA), which excavated the finds and are now preserving them, said: “We were monitoring the excavation after research showed that the area used to

be the site of a Roman cemetery, with a number of burials uncovered during the construction of St Peter’s Church in the late 19th century.

“The Roman cemetery was located alongside Langton Road, which roughly follows the line of a Roman road leading south-eastwards from the fort at Malton and the settlement of Derventio (Norton). Burials could not be

placed within the limits of a town in the Roman period, as this was regarded as unclean.

“The skeleton was laid in a grave in a crouched or foetal position, possibly mirroring birth. While it was located within the limits of a Roman cemetery, it has similarities with burials of prehistoric date. No grave goods were placed with the burial.”

The skeleton has been removed in order to protect it and it will also be examined to establish the cause of death.