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Archaeologists praise 'eagle-eyed' contractor

Peak District National Park archaeologists have praised a contractor working on a major footpath restoration scheme in North Staffordshire after he discovered a previously unknown Bronze Age burial site.

Kieran Fogarty was digging a trench to reinforce a popular public footpath at The Roaches near Leek when he unearthed part of a decorated Bronze Age cremation urn. Mr Fogarty quickly alerted staff at the Peak Park authority to his find and a team from the cultural heritage division visited the site and identified his discovery.

A team led by archaeologist John Barnatt carried out a rescue excavation of the site and as well as recovering three large fragments of the urn were also able to identify and record the extent of the cremation pit, fully recover a 'significant amount' of cremated bone and charcoal from the site and even record the impression left by the side of the urn in the edge of the pit.

Ken Smith, cultural heritage manager for the authority said: "Kieran did exactly the right thing - by contacting us quickly we were able to get out to the site and identify what he had uncovered." Mr Smith added, "Often finds like this are associated with burial mounds but in this case there was no clue on the ground surface that there was archaeology present."

Funding is to be sought for post-excavation work to be carried out that may identify where the clay used to make the urn came from, C14 dating of the charcoal and study of the cremated bone. Once the urn has been analysed it will be deposited with The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

Link to story on website of Leek Post and Times newspaper:-
BrownEdger Posted by BrownEdger
3rd September 2015ce
Edited 3rd September 2015ce

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