ANCIENT skeletons and jewellery from the Iron Age have been unearthed on a building site.

The 2,000-year-old human remains from around 800 BC were discovered in a cemetery close to where developer David Wilson Homes is constructing 77 houses in Pocklington.

Archaeologists found at least 10 square burial mounds surrounded by small enclosures in the site off Burnby Lane during an initial scan of the ground and excavation work is now being carried out by Malton-based MAP Archaeological Practice Ltd.

The finds, which could shortly be deemed of national importance, have sparked a frenzy of excitement in the town.

Paula Ware from MAP Archaeological Practice Ltd, said: "We're still at the early stages of the project, however, the findings are very interesting indeed.

"We're keen to work with the community as much as possible on this project, and we will be inviting people to visit the site in the New Year.

"We have found two bracelets and two broaches already, which have been sent to conservation in the first instance for later display and once returned, we will have some images to share with the community. "

Andrew Sefton, of Pocklington and District Local History Group, added: "They are very significant findings and Pocklington is known as a centre of Iron Age settlements.

"There's all sorts of Iron Age findings in the area and Pocklington is said to be one of the main settlements of the Parisi tribe.

"I've always wanted some sort of heritage centre in Pocklington and if we had a museum here it would be really good to keep them, but we don't so they would have to go to Beverley or Hull."

Before David Wilson Homes received the green light to build the houses, the Humber Archaeology Partnership proposed a condition that fieldwork should take place and begin with a geophysical survey of the site.

The developer was granted planning permission subject to this taking place.

Aerial photographs revealed a double ditched trackway associated with a square enclosure and eight probable square barrows immediately to the north of the proposed site.

Peter Morris, development director at David Wilson Homes, said the firm planned to invite students from Woldgate College to the site in the coming weeks.

He said: "We are still learning of and discovering new findings at the site - so the significance of the excavation is still unknown, however, due to the extent of the archaeological works, and exciting discoveries from across the site, our experts are hopeful the excavation could be of national importance."