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6 April 2006
Iron Age settlement discovered in Yorkshire

An Iron Age settlement has been unearthed in the path of a village by-pass in East Yorkshire (England). Archaeologists have found the remains of an ancient round house, stones for grinding grain, pottery, animal bones and the burial site of a woman who may have lived there more than 2,000 years ago.
     For the past few weeks, a team from the West Yorkshire Archaeology Service have been working to record and reclaim what they could from the site either side of the A165 Bridlington to Scarborough road at the Flamborough and Hunmanby cross roads near the Dotterill Inn before work starts next month on a 5.2m by-pass for Reighton village.
     Paul Wheelhouse, senior archaeologist with Golder Associates, consultants to North Yorkshire Council, said the remote settlement was an interesting site, one of a number found in the Yorkshire Wolds. The advent of the by-pass provided the opportunity for investigation before being covered over by a new roundabout. He and fellow archaeologist and site manager for West Yorkshire Archaeology Service, Luigi Signorelli, believe the Iron Age roundhouse could have been home to up to a dozen members of an extended family of pre-Roman Britain farmers.  
     The imprint of their home, a thatched circular round house with a ditch is visible in the clay soil. Post holes for timber or wattle and daub walls - uprights interwoven with branches and plastered with mud and manure - have also been found. Quern stones for grinding grain, and animal bones show they lived off the land and probably kept pigs and sheep. It was also where at least one of them could have been buried during a period of occupation of up to two centuries.
     "We did find the burial site of a single adult female but there were no grave goods included to say what period she came from, but it was an ancient burial," said Mr Wheelhouse. Radio-carbon dating of the remains should tell them that. Other items from the dig including pottery from the Iron Age and later Roman period, metal objects and animal bones will undergo similar scrutiny, including X-Ray examination.
     Part of the round house will be protected in a fenced off area on a verge by the new roundabout so if necessary it can be re-examined at a later date.
Archaeologists will also keep a watching brief for more possible finds, including under existing road surfaces which so far have been inaccessible, as the by-pass construction work continues. Checks along the rest of the planned 1.6-mile by-pass indicate there are no other likely sites of interest.

Source: Bridlington Today (5 April 2006)

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