Dating skeletal remains

century were excavated under the foundation a Welsh church that has been converted into a museum.

The church was built over an older church in the 1820s.

Rees said such stone-lined graves have been assumed to be medieval, but because skeletons have disintegrated in the acidic soil it has been hard to obtain a date for the graves.

James Nason, and other members of the museum staff, were very accommodating to the scientific team during their investigation. Non-destructive tests alone were insufficient to answer the question of the age of the skeletal remains reasonably.

After a thorough assessment of the data and reports produced by the examining team, the DOI, which is assisting the COE in determining what disposition is appropriate for the remains, determined that radiocarbon testing was needed to adequately establish the chronological placement of the remains.

This is important as they are of a type which is characteristic of the early medieval period.

Also uncovered were the remains four other unassociated burials which had been heavily disturbed by Victorian and later drainage works.” The cist grave was located under the foundations of the rebuilt church in 1825-27, and as with other sites, the Victorians had disturbed a lot of the archaeology.

Maps dating back to the late 18th century show no buildings in that area, which means that the wall would have to predate the 1760s,” the museum website says.