A warrior king buried almost 2,500 years ago has been discovered in an iron-age settlement unearthed at the foot of the Yorkshire warrior kingWolds. The remains of the burial ground is being hailed as one of the largest and most significant iron age finds of recent times.

In 2014 a housing developer stumbled upon the fossil site in the small market town of Pocklington in east Yorkshire, a find that is said to be of extreme “national and international significance”.

One of the most exciting discoveries was the “remarkably” well-preserved remains of a youthful warrior. Found in the cemetery and dated to 800 BC he had been ritually speared to “release his spirit” and lay in the ground next to his sword.

The site contains more than 75 graves holding 160 skeletons of people from the Arras culture, a group who lived in the region in the middle iron age.

The burial chambers – known as barrows – included the skeleton of the young warrior, who was lying with a broken sword by his side.

Archaeologist Paula Ware said the warrior, who was aged between 17 and 23, had been put in a box in the grave in a crouched position.

Mourners had placed four spears along his spine and another in his groin. “Our interpretation of that, we are thinking in terms of it releasing his spirit,” she said, adding that his sword had probably been broken “in antiquity” as part of the ritual.

“He was possibly a warrior – someone who had achieved status within society. In the iron age we can definitely see this ritual of death was so important. It wasn’t just a simple thing.”

Read more from the Guradian

Pin It on Pinterest