Ancient human bones found on an Oxford building site belonged to an adult Anglo-Saxon female who lived during the fifth or sixth century, according to experts.

The skeleton was discovered by a workman on a site on Stephen Road, Headington, at the end of November and is the only example of Anglo-Saxon remains ever to be found in that area.

It was buried with a necklace which contained 50 amber beads, two disc brooches, one on each shoulder, a copper alloy pin and an iron knife.

Angela Boyle, head of burial archaeology at Oxford Archaeology, said: "These bones are the only Anglo-Saxon remains to be found in that area.

"It's quite possible that the burial was part of a cemetery that has been destroyed over the years. We were just fortunate enough to pick up this one. There was certainly nothing else exposed on the site."

Miss Boyle said the artefacts allowed archaeologists to give a date to the body.

Oxford-based developer Scott Fraser Ltd is building 14 flats on the site where the bones were found.

Kevin Dighton, of contractor G Dighton and Sons, who were working on the site at the time, said the discovery had not affected building work, even though they had to apply to the Home Office for a licence to remove the bones.

"Normally these types of finds cause major problems for builders, but we've dug over the rest of the site and have not found anything else.

"The question now is what happens to the bones. We are hoping they will go to a museum."

Miss Boyle said a report would be written about the find. She said: "They are typical of the late fifth to early sixth centuries, and show that it wasn't a poor burial. They have survived by chance, really."