WORK on the Tathana's Court housing development in St Athan has come to a halt after skeletal remains were found at the site.

A local historian has said that he believes the findings could date back as far as 4000 years, making them the remnants of bronze age cremation mounds.

The Vale of Glamorgan council confirmed that they had been informed by housebuilder Barrett Homes that a "number of cremation plots" had been discovered in St Athan by an on-site archaeologist.

As part of planning permissions granted for the 100 three and four bedroom homes at St John's View, an archaeologist is required to be on site.

A Vale of Glamorgan spokesman said: "The council is advised by Glamorgan Gwent Archaeological Trust, its professional advisors in such matters, that the correct procedures are being followed and the investigation is continuing.”

A spokesman for Barratt Developments said building work had been "paused" and that they would not be releasing any information until investigations were completed "in order to ensure the safety and preservation of any discoveries".

Karl James Langford of Archaeology Cymru said he believes the findings may be from the bronze age.

"We're looking at 3000 to 4000 years old burial and cremation mounds," he said. "The presence of the cremation mounds would probably indicate the bronze age."

He added that the site would have been dug up during the second World War's Dig For Britain campaign, removing the actual cremation mounds but leaving the remains fairly near the surface.

He said he expected that similar finds may be made at developments currently under way in Sully and Wick.

Mr Langford said: "Things like this are not just of interest to people like me, they are of interest to the general public.

"They can help us to understand what the people in the area were like. From a tooth you might find that survived the cremation process you can get information which might tell you where the person came from or what kind of diet they had. Finds like this are important."