Wiltshire's ancient history uncovered

Credit: MoD

Objects dating back 5,000 years have been found at a site being developed by the Army in Wiltshire. The MOD has uncovered an Anglo-Saxon cemetery of about 150 graves - as well as spears, knives and jewellery. One of the burials has been radiocarbon dated to between AD 660 and 780 which falls in the mid-Anglo-Saxon period in Britain.

The land at Bulford in Wiltshire is earmarked for 227 new Army family homes. It's being developed to accommodate 4000 additional Army personnel and their families who will be based in and around Salisbury Plain by 2019. It will also include offices, garages, workshops and Mess facilities.

Si Cleggett of Wessex Archaeology said: "The size, location and date of this cemetery makes it of considerable research importance. It contained the graves of women, men and children and was clearly the burial ground for a local community, perhaps that of Bulford's earliest families."

During WW1 the site was used for training and there is evidence that a field farrier may have re-shoed horses at the site before they were sent off to war. The site was also home to WW2 firing ranges where an answer to the devastating effects of German tanks was tested.

Martin Brown, Principal Archaeologist at WYG added: "This site has clearly been a special place for thousands of years, and it has been an enormous privilege to manage the archaeological work, not only working on such exciting archaeology but also using evidence to help make the new homes special for their new occupants."

Work on the homes is expected to get underway from early 2017.