AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL dig which uncovered an execution cemetery of national importance is up for an award.

At a site in Weyhill Road, graves containing skeletal remains of at least 124 people were recorded and the bones removed after a three-month-long investigation which has shed light on punishment cemeteries.

The excavation was run by Cotswold Archaeology, a charity based in Walworth Industrial Estate, in partnership with Aldi - the Weyhill Road branch of the chain is where the historical site was found before the building of the superstore in 2016.

The work has now been nominated for Current Archaeology magazine’s award for Rescue Project of the Year 2019, as the title celebrates projects, books and people featured within its pages over the last year.

Members of the public must vote to decide who wins the crown.

Richard Greatorex, principal fieldwork manager at Cotswold Archaeology, said: "This project highlights the importance of agreeing sufficient funding for detailed analysis once the excavation has been completed; it should not be underestimated how the results of our analysis have changed previous understanding of punishment cemeteries that commence in the Anglo-Saxon period.”

Over the last year Cotswold Archaeology has been examining the skeletons and made a number of small finds such as a 10th century silver penny.

Radio carbon dating have traced back the skeletons to the medieval period 1066-1539, which contradicts previous thought that criminals were buried in normal cemeteries by this point.

Recognition punishment cemeteries were used beyond this point makes the site “rare and of both local and national significance” say researchers.

The majority of bones were males within the 18-25-years-old age group, and many of the bodies and burial rites suggest they died subject to criminal punishment. Many skeletons were placed face down with their hands tied while some had been decapitated.

Votes must be cast by February 11. To vote, go to