Chariots in the landscape of East Yorkshire

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Chariots in the landscape of East Yorkshire

February 4 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Chariots in the landscape of East Yorkshire – recent discoveries at Pocklington and region

by Dr Peter Halkon FSA & Paula Ware

Since 2014, excavations at Pocklington in East Yorkshire, not previously known for its archaeology, have produced spectacular discoveries, the most significant being two chariot burials. The Burnby Lane chariot burial, although badly damaged by medieval ploughing, contained a surviving iron tyre, part of a human skeleton and most remarkably, a pair of horses. This was one 163 burials, most within 70 square and small round barrows. As well as a chariot burial, the cemetery contained a variety of interments e.g. burials inside the remains of wooden boxes, a young adult with multiple peri-mortem injuries suggestive of combat, a male with a sword with spears ritually placed or thrown into the grave. Burials of a young adult female with a foetus in the pelvic cavity who died in childbirth, and twins aged 7-8 years, shed further light on this population’s social makeup. Some brooches inlaid with coral had no known British parallels, suggesting continental influences. At the Mile, on Pocklington’s northern outskirts, a burial contained the remains of an intact chariot, buried with two horses, positioned as if pulling the vehicle; the inhumation lay on the chariot floor on his shield. With surviving organic remains and a highly decorated copper alloy face, it is internationally significant. Close by was a further “speared corpse” burial with a spectacular copper alloy shield boss.

In a joint lecture Dr Peter Halkon FSA, will place these discoveries in the context of the Iron Age landscape of what has become known as the Arras Culture, after discoveries made at Arras Farm, Market Weighton 1815-1817 which included the Kings Barrow, also accompanied by two horses. The region also contains one of the largest Iron Age iron industries in Britain, contemporary with the Arras Culture burials.  Paula Ware of MAP Archaeological Practice, the excavators, will then provide details about the Pocklington discoveries themselves. Both parts of this lecture feature in a new book: “The Arras Culture of Eastern Yorkshire -Celebrating the Iron Age” edited by Peter Halkon, Published by Oxbow Books: Oxford and Philadelphia (2020) ISBN 978 1 7825 258 3.


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February 4
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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Society of Antiquaries of London
020 7479 7080
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