5th century skeleton with shield boss uncovered in field near Nether Heyford

A skeleton dating from the 5th century has been uncovered in a field near a Northamptonshire village.

Metal detectorists Dave Derby and Alan Standish found the skeleton in a field near Nether Heyford after they picked up a signal from a shield boss that was buried with the body.

A skeleton dating back to the 5th century has been found in a Northamponshire field

A skeleton dating back to the 5th century has been found in a Northamponshire field

Archeologists have excavated the skeleton and analysis has revealed it is likely to be more than 1,500 years old.

The site, known as Whitehall Farm, where the skeleton was found is near to where a Roman villa was located 15 years ago.

Steve Young, an archeologist who led the excavation, said: “We believe it is 5th or 6th century as the burial seems to have followed pagan rituals.

“In those days men tended to be buried with a weapon of some sort. Other skeletons we have found in the area have been buried with swords.”

A child's skeleton, believed to be 1,500 years old has been found in a Northamponshire field

A child's skeleton, believed to be 1,500 years old has been found in a Northamponshire field

Further analysis of the site has also revealed some more human remains, believed to be that of a child. A brooch was also found in the grave.

Mr Derby, who has been metal detecting for 42 years and was the person who uncovered the Roman villa, said: “It is a fascinating hobby. You never know what you are going to find.”

The last major dig on the Whitehall Farm site, which is owned by Nick Adams, was in 2012.

Since the first discoveries in 1996, volunteer archaeologists from around the world have offered their time to dig trenches, uncovering more than 250,000 artefacts in just over a decade.

The historic haul of goods includes 560 coins, 20 brooches, six rings, 32,000 animal bones, 20,000 fragments of pot and many other finds.