HISTORICAL treasures unearthed on Baildon Moor have offered a "remarkable" insight into death, class and burials during the Bronze Age.

Amateur archaeologist Keith Boughey recovered cremated human remains, a complete decorated burial urn and a copper or bronze knife - a small barbed-and-tanged flint arrowhead - on Pennythorn Hill.

A team of osteologists dated the objects back to 1700bc using radiocarbon dating - a discovery described as "special" by Mr Boughey.

The bones belonged to a respected young adult man of strong build, who died around the age of 25.

There were no markings to suggest he was a casualty of war or had life-threatening injuries, meaning it is likely he died from a disease that doesn't leave a mark on bones.

Mr Boughey, who explained not much is known about Baildon's history, said: "The complete picture's never put together. The whole thing is very confused.

"This one is special for a few reasons. It contained metal. For a long time it was the stone age. Flint was the big one and they made really amazing things. Bronze is the first metal that was discovered.

"The bone samples returned a date of 1688-1527 BC, i.e. more than 3,500 years ago. This places the burial firmly in what is known as the Early Bronze Age which is in itself quite exciting because this is when the use of metal was slowly beginning to replace the use of stone for tools and weapons."

The Collard Urn has a specific style seen in the early and middle Bronze Age and - while the knife has lost its wooden handle due to decay - Mr Boughey feels it paints an "interesting" picture of life during the Bronze Age.

The editor of Prehistoric Yorkshire said: "Unusually for a metal object that has spent the last 3,500 years buried in acidic moorland soil, it is in almost perfect condition and shows little, if any, signs of corrosion."

One reason for this may be the immediate surroundings of the burial did not really deteriorate into moorland until the Iron Age, almost a thousand years later.

At the time of the burial, vegetation and landscape would have been mixed deciduous woodland and a generally warmer climate than today - something like Southern France.

Mr Boughey said: "Long before people went up on the moor to walk or fly their kites, people were living and dying up there, and being buried in prominent positions ‘up there’ with the rest of the ancestors on Baildon Moor, looking down on the Aire Valley and the lower slopes of the moor where the living continued to live and work."