Snails have shown an ancient naked figure sculpted into a chalk hillside is unlikely to be prehistoric as hoped, archaeologists have said.
Tests of soil samples extracted from Dorset’s Cerne Abbas Giant to determine its exact age have been delayed by the coronavirus epidemic.
They are not due until later in the year.
However, land snail shells found in the samples suggest it may date to medieval times, separate tests have found.
The National Trust project, in which soil was taken from the giant’s elbows and feet, was carried out to celebrate its 100-year ownership of the site.
Martin Papworth, senior archaeologist at the National Trust, and environmental archaeologist Mike Allen said two species of snail that appeared for the first time in Britain in the Roman period – thought to have been brought over from France as food – were not found at the site.
Read more: BBC