The skeletons of “at least” six people have been found in a Welsh cliff edge.
The skeletal remains were found by archaeologists at Cwm Nash in the Vale of Glamorgan.
During the eight-day excavation, experts teamed up to recover the eroding remains as part of the largest rescue project carried out in the area.
Initial findings suggest the group may have been the victims of shipwreck.
One skeleton has been described as a “younger individual”, while others were found side by side in a single grave.
Two further graves were also investigated but proved unyielding due to coastal erosion.
Previous radiocarbon dating of individuals recovered from the Cwm Nash cemetery has placed those found as from the late sixteenth or early seventeenth century, living in early modern period of the Tudors and the Stuarts.
The intricate excavation, carried out at the edge of the cliff over three days in July and five days in September, was carried out by experts from Cardiff University, Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust and Natural Resources Wales.
Professor of Bioarchaeology Jacqui Mulville, who led the Cardiff University team, said: “Many of the skeletons have lost bones to the sea, but early analysis of the burial positions of the individuals has been revealing.
“There is a single younger individual, buried away from the rest, with others buried side by side or even together in a single grave.
“Our latest thinking is that these are Tudor or Stuart men who may have been the victims of shipwreck. We aim to tell more of their stories and return their identities to them through ongoing post-excavation analysis.”
Professor Mulville led the nine-strong team of Cardiff archaeologists, Adelle Bricking, Ciara Butler, Katie Faillace, Eirini Konstantinidi, Michael Legge, Hanna-Marie Pageau and Tiffany Treadway (all PhD students) and MSc Archaeological Science student Lois Turnbull, alongside local landowner and archaeologist Dr Richard Hubbard.
Bioarchaeologists at Cardiff University will now carry out detailed analysis of the human remains into 2020.
Details of the first excavated individual will be revealed in the eighth series of BBC Four’s Digging for Britain on November 20.