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Morgan Sindall digs up 1,500-year-old skeleton

Morgan Sindall has unearthed a 1,500-year-old skeleton while working on a school expansion scheme in Norfolk.

The skeleton, believed to date from between the fifth and seventh century, was discovered at the Drake Primary School in Thetford as the project team built a new path to the school buildings as part of a £4.8m expansion scheme.

An excavation revealed a well-preserved skeleton of an adult male who had been buried on a north-south alignment about 1,500 years ago, with an iron knife on his left hip and an iron buckle on his right.

Morgan Sindall site manager Phil Hazelwood said: “This is a fascinating discovery that has really made us all think about the people who may have lived here over 1,500 years ago.

“It’s been wonderful to see how interested the pupils at Drake Primary School have been in the discovery and how our work on site has created an invaluable learning experience for them.”

Morgan Sindall regional managing director Saul Humphrey said: “Morgan Sindall has lots of experience working in areas with a rich cultural heritage and we’re pleased to have been able to assist the archaeology team to gain access to this significant discovery at the school.”

The scheme, for Norfolk County Council, is part of a £144m capital investment programme to increase the number of school places across the county, improve education facilities and create more all-through primary schools.

The work is being carried out with design and project management from NPS Group, and oversight of the archaeological work by Norfolk County Council’s historic environment team.

In 2015, archaeologists excavated 3,000 skeletons at the site of the new Liverpool Street Crossrail.

A further 30 skeletons, victims of the great plague, were unearthed last year at the Crossrail site near Liverpool Street.

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