HS2 archaeologists have uncovered what they believe is the skeleton of a murder victim from the Iron Age.

During excavation work at Wellwick Farm near Wendover, the skeleton of an adult male buried face down in a ditch with hands bound together under his pelvis was discovered.

Experts believe the Iron Age man may have been the victim of a murder or execution and osteologist are currently examining the skeleton for further evidence of foul play.

The land to the west of Wendover also seems to have been persistently used for ceremonial activity as archaeologists also uncovered a large circular monument of wooden posts 65 metres in diameter with features aligned with the winter solstice - similar to Stonehenge in Wiltshire.

At Wellwick Farm, archaeologists believe the Bronze Age and Iron Age saw some people living there, with at least one roundhouse identified and possible structures such as animal pens and pits used for disposing food.

During the Roman period, this occupation may have moved to the current location of Wendover but the Wellwick Farm site was still used for burials.

In a square enclosure on the site, archaeologists discovered a skeleton in a coffin that was lined with lead, with the outer coffin likely made of wood.

Archaeologists believe that the buried individual must have been someone of high status as they had the means to pay for such an expensive method of burial.

The section of the HS2 route is being prepared to build the Wendover Green Tunnel and the Wendover North Cutting.

Dr. Rachel Wood, Project Archaeologist said: "We already knew that Buckinghamshire is rich in archaeology but discovering a site showing human activity spanning 4,000 years came as a bit of a surprise to us.

“The death of the Wellwick Farm man remains a mystery to us but there aren’t many ways you end up in a bottom of a ditch, face down, with your hands bound.

"We hope our osteologists will be able to shed more light on this potentially gruesome death.

“The large wooden ceremonial structure, the Roman lead burial and the mystery of the skeleton at Wellwick Farm helps bring alive the fact that people lived, worked and died in this area long before we came along."

Mike Court, HS2 Lead Archaeologist added: "Our discoveries will be shared with communities and the public through virtual lectures, open days and in an upcoming BBC archaeology documentary.

"The sheer scale of possible discoveries, the geographical span and the vast range of our history to be unearthed makes HS2’s archaeology programme a unique opportunity to tell the story of Buckinghamshire and Britain.”