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Headless Roman skeletons found in England, 1980s serial killer identified in Oregon, ancient monument accidentally desecrated in Scotland.

About 40 beheaded skeletons are among 425 bodies exhumed by HS2 archaeologists from a large Roman cemetery discovered on the route of the high-speed railway.

The 50-strong team uncovered the remains at a cemetery in Fleet Marston near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HS2 Ltd said.

About 10% of the skeletons were decapitated, with several instances where the head was placed between the legs or next to the feet.

HS2 Ltd said this could be due to the people buried being “criminals or a type of outcast”, although decapitation was a “normal, albeit marginal” part of burial during the late Roman period, which is towards the end of AD410.

The cemetery is the largest of its kind in Buckinghamshire.

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