GRAVEDIGGERS at Pleasington Cemetery were amazed to find someone had got there first - around 3,000 years ago!

Grant Higson stopped work immediately his digger uncovered pottery fragments which turned out to be part of a Bronze Age burial urn.

Blackburn Museum staff and Lancaster Archaeological Unit have managed to retrieve the shattered pieces of the urn, together with remains of several cremations.

The find will now be carefully dried out and preserved before going on show.

Museum keeper Maggy Simms praised Mr Higson for stopping work immediately, ensuring much of the 12 inch high urn could be recovered. "The urn shattered many years ago underground, but we have a bag of pieces and another bag containing the ashes of what we believe to be several cremations.

"When the experts get to work on these we should be able to tell how many people were cremated and also from pollen samples, what type of crops were growing.

"Some of the remains are stained green, probably from something like a dagger or brooch which has disintegrated over the years,"

The last such finds in the borough were in the last century in Revidge, Blackburn, and the Whitehall area of Darwen. In both cases they were found under burial mounds, while the Pleasington area was flat.

"We still don't know enough about this area, and this find proves Blackburn should take itself seriously from an archaeological point of view," added Maggy.

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