Ben and Zoe Julian of Scilly Flowers discover ancient island grave
THE OWNERS of a flower company on the Isles of Scilly made a startling discovery earlier this year, uncovering a grave said to be thousands of years old.
Ben and Zoe Julian, of Scilly Flowers, stumbled on the cist grave at Churchtown Farm, which they rent for their business, on St Martin's.
According to Natural England (NE) it had lain undisturbed for thousands of years and could date back to the first century AD.
Mrs Julian said there are lots of remains on the islands, but added it was a remarkable find.
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"Someone was walking and said 'what the hell is that?'
"We had a good poke around and thought it was worth speaking to the local Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) team. They said there could well be something in this.
"A similar grave on Bryher had a very impressive sword inside so we were very excited to see what we would find."
With funding from NE, members of Cornwall Council's historic environment team excavated the site, at the edge of a field currently used to grow turnips, this month and found a small brooch.
"It was an interesting discovery and it is always exciting to see what might be found and relate it to comparable sites," said Charlie Johns, a senior archaeologist.
"The cist proved to be quite small and was probably the grave of child of or young person," he added.
Mr Johns added the brooch, which is made from copper alloy, was possibly used to fasten a cloak.
Mrs Julian said following the investigations coins were laid in the grave for future generations to find - as well as some of her scented flowers "for good measure".
She added the archeologists now believe there is more to be found on the farm, with thoughts there could well be a small settlement at the top of the field.
Mr Johns noted the grave was filled back in and stones replaced after the works were finished, while the brooch is now being analysed before being deposited at the Isles of Scilly Museum.