Bleadon Man's left hand and pelvic region, 1999.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Bleadon Man was one of two skeletons discovered when building began on a new housing estate on Whitegate Farm, Bleadon, Somerset, in 1998. The investigations of the skeleton were filmed for the BBC TV series 'Meet the Ancestors'. Bleadon Man's remains had been buried in a crouched, almost fetal, position, in keeping with ancient beliefs about the 'sleep of death'. When the skeleton was dismantled and sent to the lab for analysis, it was found to have belonged to a male in his fifties, about 5ft 6 inches tall and muscularly built, who had suffered from arthritis. The skeleton now belongs to the North Somerset Museum Service.