Kettlewell burial MYD36680 © Kevin J Cale, 2004
During the summer of 1997, a watching brief was kept by an archaeologist while Yorkshire Electricity installed new electricity poles between Kettlewell and Buckden. The line of the poles lay along the western side of Wharfedale at the interface between the fields of pasture and meadow that rise from the flood plain and the steeper more marginal land of the upper valley sides. This area has been settled and farmed since at least the Iron Age.
Various archaeological features were uncovered and investigated, but the most important was the burial of an adult female. There were no artefacts to date her, so radiocarbon dating was undertaken on the bone. She was found to have died some time in the late 7th century AD and was possibly originally buried beneath a mound or cairn but later agricultural activity has destroyed this. The body was buried in a crouching position and was aged between 35 and 45 and was about 166.7cm high. Evidence from the bone also indicated that she had been pregnant at least once in her life.
Cale, Kevin J (2004) ‘Was The Skeleton Lady Dead?’ in White, R F & Wilson, P R (eds) (2004) Archaeology and Historic Landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales. Yorkshire Archaeological Society Occasional Paper No 2 pp105-110