A petition of support for Iron Age finds set up

Andrew Sefton (pock & district history group), Phil Gilbank, Gordon Scaife (clark)
Andrew Sefton (pock & district history group), Phil Gilbank, Gordon Scaife (clark)

A petition of support has been launched in an iniative aiming to keep the Burnby Lane excavation’s finds in Pocklington.

Archaeologist Paula Ware, managing director at MAP Archaeological Practice, has been working on the Burnby Lane site for almost three years. The team unexpectedly discovered the biggest Iron Age cemetery site found in Britain for 50 years.

The latest archaeological and post-excavation techniques are allowing the finds to be analysed to a degree that is hoped could rewrite East Yorkshire’s Iron Age history.

The team has excavated 86 square barrows containing almost one thousand individual artefacts from a sword, a dozen spears and knives down to hundreds of brooches, bangles and beads.

The site has been accepted as being of international importance, and Paula outlined how several of the burials and some of the finds have been logged as unique or extremely rare and are continuing to excite archaeologists and academics.

The partnership between MAP and developers of the Burnby Lane site, David Wilson Homes, is being held up as a beacon for cooperation between archaeologists and house builders.

Local organisations are joining forces to try and take this forward, though the project will be a major challenge, not least to find and finance the right venue.

The task is not just to display the artefacts, as Paul informed the gathering that the burials are too important to be reinterred and will also need to be stored locally for 
future study.

Phil Gilbank, chairman of Pocklington & District Local History Group, said: “The Burnby Lane finds have already put Pocklington on the heritage map, and there is is an unmissable opportunity to try and do something special in the town.

“It will be a big challenge, and there are major technical. legal and financial hurdles to overcome, but we are determined to give it a real go.”

The audience were the first to sign the new ‘Petition of Support’, which now has more than 15o signatures, and is being gathered to use in future grant funding bids.

There are copies for signing at Pocklington Town Council offices in George Street, and Pocklington Arts Centre in Market Place. And an online version of the petition has also been produced by visiting www.pocklingtonhistory.com.