A SKELETON buried in a shallow grave has been uncovered by builders carrying out work on the refurbishment of the Yorkshire Museum.

The bones were found as the workmen were improving the York museum’s drains.

Archaeologists carefully removed the bones from the site in Museum Gardens and are now awaiting permission for them to be taken away for analysis.

Andrew Morrison, curator of archaeology, said: “We were very surprised to find bones here because they had only dug 30cm – much shallower than you would expect to find a skeleton. At this stage it is very hard to work out much about him or her, but they were buried east to west to suggest a Christian burial. Roman pottery was also found, but whether the skeleton is of the same age is not known at this stage.”

Experts will now try and work out the age, sex and cause of death for the skeleton. They will also use maps and drawings to try and research where the body was buried in relation to buildings in St Mary’s Abbey precinct, in which the museum was built. Builders also discovered a four-metre deep well in the same area of the museum, with three metres of water in it.

The work taking place at the Yorkshire Museum is part of a £2 million refurbishment, with the museum reopening on August 1.