Human remains found on a County Durham beach are likely to be thousands of years old, experts have said.
The remains, thought to be of a teenaged boy, were discovered by a group of schoolchildren in sand dunes at Crimdon, near Hartlepool, on Monday.
Police said nearby cliffs were unstable and a recent landslip is believed to have exposed the bones.
Archaeological experts have concluded the body was buried in the "distant past", possibly thousands of years ago.
Rachel Grahame of Tees Archaeology, said: "The crouched position of the body and the lack of grave goods strongly suggest that this is a prehistoric burial.
"The location of the burial in the cliff, covered by many metres of sand, suggests that the burial took place in the distant past, perhaps several thousand years ago."
Det Sgt Jim Allen of Cleveland Police said: "The police investigation is standing down, but our main concern is safety of people working with this find, and of the public and to that end I would advise members of the public to stay away.
"It is an unstable environment with recent landslips and the last thing we want is for anyone to get hurt.
"People should still be able to enjoy the beach area, but I would urge people not to try to climb the dunes or cliff face."