Roman woman laid to rest after being unearthed by cavers

THE remains of a woman have been laid to rest in a hidden location in the Yorkshire Dales 1,900 years after she died.

She was returned – in ceremony – to the limestone cave where she was discovered by two divers more than a decade ago.

Phillip Murphy, an academic at Leeds University, and his friend Andrew Goddard found the woman's skull by chance during a diving mission at the cave in 1997.

Carbon dating tests confirmed that the remains dated back to Roman times, and further visits to the site unearthed the bones of medieval wild dogs and the first set of prehistoric cave footprints seen in Britain.

A forensic expert at Sheffield University, Dr Stephanie Davy-Jow has reconstructed the woman's face, see inset. Mr Murphy said: "We know that our Roman lady wasn't thrown down the cave shaft because there were no injuries on the skull. "The bones may have been placed there after her body had decomposed elsewhere."

The cave has been resealed, and its location kept secret.

Library image of the skyline of the City of London Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

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