EXPERT analysis has shed new light on the history of Cirencester.

Scientists have examined the teeth of human remains found during an archeological dig.

They believe the people were not local, but had travelled here from the far south-west – probably Devon or Cornwall.

Also, they lived here before the Romans arrived in the early first century BC.

"This is of great regional significance, and it will generate national interest", said Edward Biddulph, senior project manager with Oxford Archaeology which conducted the dig.

Mr Biddulph gave details of his find in a talk o Cirencester Archaeological and Historical Society at the Ashcroft Centre, Cirencester.

"The excavation gave archaeologists a remarkable window into Cirencester’s prehistoric past, and provided a wealth of information about Cirencester before Corinium", said Mr Biddulph.

The human remains were both women, and they were found during excavations two years ago at a housing development at Kingshill.

At the time, it was described as Cirencester's "most significant" historical find.

One of the women was thought to be of high status as she was buried with a cowhide and ceramic beaker in a small burial mound surrounded by a ditch.

It is thought they were part of a settlement attracted by the rich farm land which gave excellent feeding for livestock.

Experts believe the settlement was abandoned when Cirencester, or Corinium, was established as a town. The inhabitants of the farmstead either moved into the new town, or were "re-housed".

A book presenting the results of the analysis and story of the site will be published by Oxford Archaeology in the New Year.

The finds are still with Oxford Archaeology, but will eventually displayed at the Corinium Museum, possibly in the New Year.