Human remains discovered at a building site in Middleton Cheney date back more than 1,000 years, carbon dating tests have revealed.
The remains of three people – an infant aged 0-2 years, a woman older than 45 and a man aged between 35 and 45 – were found at the site in Main Road, Middleton Cheney, on Friday, December 7, 2012.
A detailed study carried out by archaeologists had previously revealed the bones date from somewhere between the Roman and post-Mediaeval period but further carbon testing has revealed they date from somewhere between the late 7th and early 9th Century.
All three skeletons were in a single grave which archaeologists initially believed was positioned in a manner that is consistent with a Christian burial.
However the antiquity of the remains and the fact there are no other Christian burial sites in the area has led experts to believe the remains may be of of a family who succumbed to a disease all at the same time before being buried at the edge of a settlement.
Detective Sergeant Sean Arbuthnot from Northampton CID, said: “We have a responsibility to establish the circumstances of death when human remains are found, although only on those remains which are less than 100 years old, which is why we had to establish the age of these bones.”
He added: “The results of the carbon dating show that the remains are more than 1,000 years old, so there is no further requirement for us to investigate.”
More information and images of the bones can be found on the Northamptonshire Police website at www.northants.police.uk.