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Iron Age skeleton found during Margate Caves excavation

By Katie Davis

Archaeologists struck gold on the last day of the dig at the Margate Caves site when they uncovered an Iron Age skeleton.

The skeleton was found to be a rare crouch burial, where the body is laid as if curled up and sleeping.

It was found in the bottom of a bell-shaped chalk pit.

The Iron Age skeleton. Pic: Dan Thompson
The Iron Age skeleton. Pic: Dan Thompson

The excavation is now complete and the trust says it marks a milestone.

Sarah Vickery, chair of the Margate Caves, said: "The completion of the archaeological dig out Crowdfunder backers made possible is a big milestone in our project.

"The settlement that our archaeologists and volunteers found on our site means the Margate Caves can tell a story of the Isle of Thanet that starts well before the Romans arrived here."

Dig at the Margate Caves site. Pic: Dan Thompson
Dig at the Margate Caves site. Pic: Dan Thompson

The site has revealed a series of Iron Age ditches, some post holes and a large pit - where the crouch burial was found.

Volunteers and archeaologists worked hard throughout February to excavate the area and uncover gems such as an Iron Age Job and hill fort.

The hill fort remains were found in the area of the proposed ticket office.

Margate Caves centre design
Margate Caves centre design

Once an evaluation has been finished, the team will decide how to include the finds in their new visitor centre.

The future of the historic Margate Caves was secured when a bid for a £420,000 Big Lottery Fund grant was successful last year.

The team hope the centre will open next year, with plans for an "ambitious mixed-use scheme" for the site.

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