Farmer stumbles across 4,000-year-old cemetery while ploughing field and finding ancient leg bones

The Neolithic cemetery in the village of Stara Wieś in Silesia contained the remains of three people who were found lying on their right side with arms bent and curled up and their heads pointing to the East. Marcin Rezner/ Romuald Turakiewicz/ Racibórz Museum

A farmer ploughing his field had the shock of his life when he stumbled across human bones in a shallow grave dating back 4,000 years.

The Neolithic cemetery in the village of Stara Wieś in Silesia contained the remains of three people who were found lying on their right side with arms bent and curled up and their heads pointing to the East.

Romek Turakiewicz from the Archaeology Department at Racibórz Museum said: “It could be a mass grave and there could be more skeletons.”Marcin Rezner/ Romuald Turakiewicz/ Racibórz Museum

Romek Turakiewicz from the Archaeology Department at Racibórz Museum said: “It could be a mass grave and there could be more skeletons.

“It turned out that the fragments of the burial site were located in very shallow ground, only around 30cm below the ground’s surface.

Marcin Rezner/ Romuald Turakiewicz/ Racibórz Museum

Marcin Rezner/ Romuald Turakiewicz/ Racibórz Museum

Archaeologists want to determine if the remains were part of a sacrificial burial.Marcin Rezner/ Romuald Turakiewicz/ Racibórz Museum

“Such shallow graves are associated with successive erosion of the terrain which leads to the uncovering of previously much deeper located graves.”

“The three graves are in one large pit, the outline and boundaries of which we haven’t been able to establish yet.

The cemetery was discovered by a local farmer who came across leg bones while ploughing his field.Marcin Rezner/ Romuald Turakiewicz/ Racibórz Museum

“This requires a few weeks of work, which we haven’t had time for yet.

“In those times they also did sacrificial burials. This is to be established in the future.”

The remains were found in a shallow grave.Marcin Rezner/ Romuald Turakiewicz/ Racibórz Museum

He added that the position of the skeletons was “typical of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age burials.”

The Museum’s archaeology team have secured the site and excavation works are planned to resume after the harvest in the autumn.