A dog walker in Somerset discovered a skull that dates back to the Iron Age. Reports from archaeologists indicate that Roger Evans, of Newtown, found the skull along the banks of the River Sowy in Langport back in March 2017.
It turns out that the police were informed about the incident and they analyzed the skull will tests that found it belonged to a woman aged 45 or older during the late Iron Age era.
If you’re wondering, the period extends from 380-190BC - several centuries before the first Roman invasion of Britain. A human bone expert also found that the skull had suffered from tooth loss and gum disease.
The woman consumed a diet that constituted of the coarse material, which had unevenly worn her remaining teeth and resulted in severe osteoarthritis in the joint of her right jaw.
The woman had also suffered at least one episode of chronic illness or nutritional stress during childhood. The head appears to have been removed at or after her death.
According to an archaeologist at the South West Heritage Trust, Richard Brunning, said: "Severed heads are not an unusual discovery for the Iron Age, but the placement of the skull in a wetland beside a wooden structure is very rare, possibly reflecting a practice of making ritual offerings in watery environments."
The water levels were reduced in December by the Environment Agency around where the remains were found to allow the South West Heritage Trust and an archaeologist to investigate the area.
The site also had timber posts that were driven deep into the river bed, also, radiocarbon dating is now being carried out to see if they are of the same period.
Further studies suggest that other prehistoric wooden structures are present nearby due to the additional posts that were seen further down the channel. However, the water levels have returned to the normal to protect the archaeological remnants.