The bones of some of the victims of legendary warrior queen Boudicca have been found underneath a department store.
A team of archaeologists discovered a jaw and shin bones during a redevelopment in Colchester, Essex.
They date from around 61AD – the time of the Boudiccan Revolt when the town was burnt down by Iceni rebels led by Boudicca as she tried to free her people from Roman rule.
The remains were found among burnt building debris and is only the second find of its kind in the town.
Philip Crummy, director of the Colchester Archaeological Trust, said: “The discovery of human remains is extremely rare.”
The Boudiccan Revolt saw British tribes under Boudicca of the Iceni unsuccessfully try to defeat the Roman army.
It resulted in Colchester, London, and Verulamium – now St Albans – being burnt to the ground while thousands of people on both sides lost their lives.
Colchester was the first target of the Boudiccan army and many of the townspeople were rounded up and sacrificed in groves sacred to the victorious British.
Mr Crummy said the recently discovered bones must be the remains of people who died in buildings set on fire by the British as they quickly overran the town.
Developers say the find will not have a significant effect on the construction of the new Williams & Griffin department store.
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