Rampion Unearths Ancient Execution Scene

Human remains dating back to the 11th century were found during excavation work on the South Downs for the Rampion offshore wind farm, with the body showing signs of a traumatic death, E.ON said.

Archaeologists from Archaeology South East, UCL, working on behalf of the Rampion project, uncovered the well-preserved remains of the adult male aged 25 to 35 years in a well-cut grave in chalk bedrock on the south-western side of Truleigh Hill, north of Shoreham-by Sea.

The 1,000-year-old remains, thought to be an execution killing of around 1010-1025 AD, were found by archaeologists when surveying the route for the onshore cable which now carries power from the 400MW wind farm. The skeleton was recovered intact with the exception of missing a few small bones from the hands and feet. He was laid facing upwards with his arms at his side in an east west alignment, with no sign of a coffin.

The remains were excavated as part of the Rampion offshore wind farm development alongside environmental consultants RSK in accordance with standard and professional techniques. The skeleton’s age was established by radiocarbon dating which indicated death before the Norman Conquest, during a time known as the late Anglo Saxon period. Further analysis revealed signs of a physically active life ending violently with cuts to the neck.

The late Anglo Saxon remains were uncovered in 2015 during the wind farm construction process.

Archaeological remains spanning millennia from the late Neolithic through to the Bronze Age, Roman, mediaeval and post-medieval periods were uncovered during the survey and include finds of flint tools, pottery, pits and salt-working and watercress cultivation features.

An archaeology evening is being hosted by Rampion at the Ropetackle Arts Centre in Shoreham on Tuesday 12 June at 7 pm local time.

A number of archaeological finds uncovered during construction will be on display including the vertebrae from the Saxon skeleton showing cut marks, as well as a selection of prehistoric, Roman and medieval pottery and various flint tools.

The Rampion offshore wind farm, located 13km off the Sussex coast, is due to be fully operational later this year.

Photos: Archaeology South East/E.ON