EXCLUSIVE: Second body found at Bronze Age Soham site is a little long in the tooth
PUBLISHED: 17:01 29 March 2013 | UPDATED: 17:01 29 March 2013
ARCHAEOLOGISTS excavating a former allotment in Soham have discovered the burial site of an elderly Bronze Age man who was believed to have been suffering from a very bad case of toothache.
The team from Archaeological Solutions have been uncovering the Fordham Road site for the last four months on behalf of developer Hopkins Homes, which is planning to build dozens of new homes on the former allotments.
Earlier this year, the team uncovered the remains of a man who appeared to have been decapitated, with his skull found placed between his legs.
This week, the team have found another body, this time believed to be that of an elderly man, dating to the Bronze Age, who was suffering significant damage to his lower jaw.
After cleaning the skull up, the team found that the damage was most likely caused by a fistula, essentially an abnormal hole, caused by a persistent abscess in his mouth, a condition that can be extremely painful and lead to serious complications.
Andrew Peachey, one of the archaeologists working at the site, said: “The latest discovery is a second prehistoric burial of an old male, with an abscess on his lower right jaw, which would have resulted from an infection and may have caused the loss of several teeth.
“Excavations are expected to conclude in the next three weeks, after which archaeologists will begin to analyse all the finds from the site to build a picture and interpretation of early settlement at Soham.”
Elsewhere on the site, archaeologists have discovered a sizeable Roman settlement, with a wealth of finds including thousands of wheat seeds, lucerne, pots, a key, a comb and snake-headed pendant and a ring.
The site shows that occupation continued at the site from the first century AD right through the 400 years of Roman settlement.