ANCIENT skeletons have been unearthed near West Knoyle by a company laying a new water main.
A newly discovered Iron Age burial site included an adult female found with her feet chopped off and re-buried next to her, along with the carcasses of at least two sheep or goats.
Two male skeletons were found with sword wounds to their hips, and a fourth grave contained the remains of a 10-year-old child.
The remains were found by archaeologists working alongside Wessex Water employees laying the company’s new £200m water supply grid scheme across Wiltshire, Dorset and Somerset.
They discovered the burials while working in fields along the A303 near West Knoyle, and believe they date back to the early Iron Age and Saxon periods.
Peter Cox, director of Wiltshire-based AC Archaeology, said: “Human remains from these periods are very rare and indicate the long period of settlement that has occurred in the area.
“We’re unsure why the female skeleton has been found without her feet or why she may have been buried with sheep, but it must have some link to people’s beliefs at the time and perhaps to protecting her soul from bad spirits.”
The bones were removed from the ground and will be cleaned and catalogued before undergoing radiocarbon testing.