Ancient finds to stay in town?

The excavation site on Burnby Lane
The excavation site on Burnby Lane

Important Iron Age discoveries unearthed during an archaeological dig in Pocklington could go on display in the town, the Post can exclusively reveal.

A total of 160 skeletons, along with a sword and jewellery, have been uncovered during the dig at the recently discovered burial site on Burnby Lane, which is where developer David Wilson Homes is planning to build 77 new houses.

An Iron Age sword, similar to the one discovered in Pocklington

An Iron Age sword, similar to the one discovered in Pocklington

A spokesperson for the developer has confirmed that keeping some of the findings in Pocklington and displaying them somewhere in the town “is something they are looking at” and “trying to do.”

Pocklington and District Local History Group, Pocklington Town Council and Pocklington and Wolds Gateway support the plans to put the ancient finds on display in the town.

Phil Gilbank, from the history group, said: “It sounds as though the finds are fantastic. To do them justice we need to explore all the possibilities and see how Pocklington can properly showcase its Iron Age heritage.

“It is amazing these finds have been under our feet for 2,000 years without the slightest idea of being there. It would be a massive shame if they were not secured locally for future generations.”

He added: “Pocklington is really lucky, the site has been a grass field for longer that anyone can remember, perhaps hundreds of years, otherwise many of the finds could have been destroyed by ploughing; and because David Wilson Homes are willing to work with us to keep the finds in the town.”

Paula Ware, Managing Director at MAP Archaeological Practice, the company which is carrying out the excavation work, said: “At this stage we are still not fully aware of the potential information that may be revealed in the analysis stage, however we can say that these findings are certainly of great interest. We are only just starting the process of post-excavation analysis, so we don’t have any further information at this stage. Discoveries of this nature take several years before the work is complete and is published within academic journals, however we do hope to publish an interim report in ‘Prehistoric Yorkshire’ in 2017, dependent on specialists.”

Peter Morris, Development Director at David Wilson Homes, added: “The discoveries at our Pavilion Square development continue to generate intrigue from local residents and indeed across the country. We are working hard with our team of archeologists, alongside several universities on scientific techniques to date and accurately record the findings. Naturally this process takes a lot of time, however we are committed to keeping the community as up to date as possible and will continue to share news as and when we can.”

Meanwhile, David Wilson Homes has announced plans to bury a time capsule at the site to celebrate the findings.

The site has so far yielded 160 skeletons and 77 square barrows. Finds have included several brooches and rings, in addition to more than 300 amber and glass beads. The sword that has been unearthed is one of the most exciting discoveries at the site.

It is believed the site dates to the Iron Age. which in Britain lasted from 800 BC until the time of the Roman conquest, which started in AD 43.