A huge dinosaur bone dug up in Cambridge is thought to have belonged to an ancient Roman fossil hunter, experts have claimed.
Found just north of the city, staff from Oxford Archaeology claim it is part of the vertebra of a giant plesiosaur – a beast that roamed the Earth around 66 million years ago.
It was found among bits of Roman pottery and other animals bones, and is thought to have been curated by a Roman fossil fan.
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The site it was found at dates back to around the late fourth century AD, and is currently located beneath a cark park.
Remains of the Plesiosaur are hard to come by, although a large in-tact skeleton of one was found in Antarctica in 2017, which was the first ever of its kind found in the area.
Several have been found in the UK before including in Somerset in 2004, which dated back to around 180 million years ago and measured around 1.5 metres.
A spokesman said: “The shallow footings of the garages have meant that the archaeological features have been well preserved and many of the finds are in excellent condition.
“The remains discovered consist of ditches and pits, a potential structure, and several Roman burials.”
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And Andrew Greef, senior project manager at Oxford Archaeology, said: "As archaeologists we are often asked by members of the public if we have found any dinosaur bones and on this occasion, we actually found one.
"We've got enough evidence to show the Romans found these things, but you can only imagine what they might have thought they had.”
Once a search of the site has been complete, the area of Aragon Close and Sackville Close will be turned into seven low-carbon, sustainable council houses, with car parking, bespoke landscaping and cycle storage.
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