A man in southern Sweden was shocked to uncover a human skeleton just 20 centimetres under the ground near a public beach, remains that archaeologists believe belong to a fallen soldier from the Danish occupation of Sweden in the early 1600s.

Ronny Gustavsson, head of the Kalmar municipality service project, was on the scene soon after the workers found the bones while digging for a beach extension project in the area. While the digger itself crushed a hole in the skeleton's skull, Gustavsson says the bones have weathered the centuries well.

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