Roman burial ground is likely in Alderney

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have located four sets of remains in a trench dug for an Alderney electricity cable, suggesting the site, which lies just off Longis Common, could be a Roman burial ground.

Roman burial ground is likely in Alderney

Labourers found a skull on Monday of last week when they cut a trench alongside Rue des Mielles, just 100 yards or so from the island's Nunnery building, which contains a Roman fortlet.

The skull, thought to be that of a juvenile or young woman, was recovered along with fragments of leg bone and a cist or tomb cover.

A local archaeologist provisionally dated the skull as late Roman.

On Thursday two more bodies were spotted, as well as a section of wall, so Dr Jason Monaghan, director of Guernsey Museums, flew over to investigate.

He found that the wall, on a clay layer, stood 1.1m below the surface, at an appropriate depth to be Roman.

Investigation of the trench elicited other possible burial cists or walls.

'The natural ground is wind-blown sand, so building stones or dark archaeological features stand out well,' he said.

'One feature turned out to be a cremation capped by a huge boulder. This consisted of charred bones interred in a black urn, which may be of the pre-Roman Iron Age.

'I removed the cremation and its contents as completely as possible. It was brought in several bags back to Guernsey.'

He also hand-excavated the second cist.

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