Prehistoric man with shield found after dig

The skeleton of a prehistoric man on a shield.

The skeleton of a prehistoric man on a shield.

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An archeological dig in Pocklington has unearthed a prehistoric man buried with a shield.

The skeleton was found in one of the square barrows at the recently discovered Iron Age burial ground on Burnby Lane, which is where developer David Wilson Homes is planning to build 77 new houses.

MAP Archaeological Practice, the company which is carrying out the excavation work, says it has also discovered a man “of an impressive stature.”

The site has so far yielded more than 38 square barrows and in excess of 82 burials.

Paula Ware, of MAP Archaeological Practice, said: “Naturally we’re still investigating our findings, so at present we aren’t able to share much more detail - however we’re looking forward to learning more and understanding what these new discoveries mean for the local area.

“To present Burnby Lane has unveiled some excellent prehistoric artefacts, that are really unique.

“We are continuing to investigate the site and will work hand in hand with David Wilson Homes to preserve these historical discoveries so that they can be used to shed some light on the history of the area for generations to come.”

Several of the square barrows contain personal possessions, including jewellery, and a sword has also been discovered.

So far the findings have been associated with the Arras culture of the middle to late Iron Age in Eastern Yorkshire.

The finds are now being conserved and stabilised for display purposes in the future.

Miss Ware explained: “The information from the conservation in particular will provide a detailed insight into the lives and environment of the Arras culture in the area of Pocklington.

“These discoveries are truly fantastic for the local area, and are the largest archaeological works to have ever taken place in Pocklington.”

It is not yet known how long archeologists will be at the site for, but it is predicted that the archaeological dig will last throughout the summer.

MAP Archaeological Practice is urging the public to stay clear of the site.

Peter Morris, development director at David Wilson Homes, said: “These discoveries are truly fantastic for the Pocklington area and we are delighted to be working hand in hand with Paula and her team of archaeologists on a project that will most definitely benefit the community for years to come.

“We are particularly excited by the artefacts discovered - not least the jewellery and the sword – and will continue to work hard to ensure the findings are preserved so that they can help us to achieve a greater historical understanding of the Pocklington area.”

The burial ground is now recognised as being of international importance.

The Iron Age in Britain lasted from 800 BC until the time of the Roman conquest, which started in AD 43.

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