Police said today that human remains discovered at a building site in Northamptonshire in December last year date back more than 1,000 years.
The remains of three people - an infant aged 0 to two 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.
A study of them by archaeologists had previously revealed they date from somewhere between the Roman and post-mediaeval period but further carbon dating testing has revealed they date from somewhere between the late 7th and early 9th century.
All three remains were in a single grave which archaeologists initially believed was positioned in a manner that is consistent with a Christian style burial.
However, because of the age of the remains and because there are no other Christian burial sites in the area, it is now more likely they are of a family who succumbed to a disease at the same time and were 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.
“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.”