Animal and human skeletons were found in a huge Roman quarry pit on the site of 91 future homes in Ewell, archaeologists have confirmed.

From November 2015: Were Roman skeletons found on the Nescot College construction site?

Nearly 15 archaeologists worked at the former animal husbandry site of Nescot (North East Surrey College of Technology) in Reigate Road, Ewell, between February and July 2015. They published their findings last month.

From October 2014: Controversial care home plans for Nescot site in Ewell get makeover

From March 2015: Housing developer wants to change controversial plans for 91 homes in Ewell

Housebuilders Circle Hill plan to build 91 new homes on the site, including 55 for private sale, 11 shared ownership homes, 25 homes for affordable rent and two public open spaces. Work is already underway and is expected to last two years.

Surrey Comet:

Publication of the dig’s findings is not due to disrupt development of the site (pictured above), and local historians have explained that there is nothing more to find there.

Archaeologists from Pre-Construct Archaeology (PCA) found artefacts from the late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (c. 1200BC) to Roman period (c. 55BC) during the dig last summer.

They found 67 dogs, seven partial pigs, four partial foetal horses, and scattered bones belonging to at least 53 different people, as well as coins and pottery.

The PCA believes the coins and pottery show the quarry was closed between AD 87 and AD 100.

Surrey Comet:

Alexis Haslam, director of fieldwork at PCA, said: “The most exciting quarry was discovered in the eastern area of the site and was backfilled with selectively deposited material, placing items within features for religious beliefs – some refer to this as ‘ritual’.”

It was in this area of the site – a five-metre wide shaft – that the skeletons and bones were found.

Ms Haslam added: “The disarticulated remains are most interesting and suggest that excarnation (leaving the body out to the elements before burying it) or curation (holding on to the body for some time before burying it) may have taken place.”

David Brooks, curator at Bourne Hall Museum in Spring Street, Ewell described the excavation as “probably the biggest dig in Ewell since the one at Nonsuch Palace in the 1950s”.

Mr Brooks was also among those who attended the excavation last summer to watch as the skeletons, knives and other artefacts were unearthed.

He added: “They have found all they are going to find now so there is no reason construction shouldn’t go ahead.

“It is always exciting when you are among the first people to see something in a thousand years.”

Surrey Comet:

Circle Hill said all findings of historical significance had been preserved and were being analysed, but would not reveal what they were, when contacted by the Epsom Guardian in November 2015.

This month, a spokesperson for Circle Hill said: “Circle Hill has successfully recorded and preserved the archaeology found on the site, in collaboration with the council.

“Work on the development is progressing very well and the first homes at Sycamore Gardens will be ready to move into in the autumn.”