Human remains thought to be about 4,000 years old and ‘charred’ have been discovered by builders working on a hotel in rural Northumberland.
The Tankerville Arms in Wooler was undergoing renovation work when they unearthed a Bronze Age stone burial chamber – or cist.
A digger driver was laying drainage pipes when he struck the stone made coffin before moving the cover slab back to see the hollow inside.
Inside were human remains in a crouched burial position with a a small, ‘beautifully fashioned flint knife’ found by the legs of the skeleton.
Archaeologists are examining it to find out the sex of the single skeleton and whether other remains lie around the site.
The team, from Northumberland County Council’s current estimates suggest the cist dates from some time between 2,200BC and 1,750BC.
Local archaeologist Roger Miket said the cist is formed of four upright stones with the cover slab on top.’