The Poulton Project is a multi-period rural excavation 5 miles south of Chester, which has produced extensive evidence for 10,000 years of human activity. The site was discovered during the search for a lost Cistercian Abbey, when excavation unexpectedly revealed the foundations of a medieval Chapel and associated graveyard, with an estimated 2000 burials. Continual research has also uncovered Mesolithic flints and later tools of Neolithic and Bronze Age farmers. Notably, the site contains the largest Iron Age lowland settlement discovered west of the Pennines. An extensive and high status Roman landscape is indicated by structures, industry and field boundaries, which have produced a large assemblage of ceramics, metal and building material. The Poulton Project offers students the opportunity to excavate well-preserved archaeology from a variety of periods.
This year’s excavation is focusing on two areas. The first is a Roman enclosure ditch and boundary system with possible Late Iron Age origins. Our excavations have shown this to be an area rich in material culture, especially animal bone and pottery. We are continuing to investigate and characterise the nature and date of the enclosure and surrounding activity.
Our second area focuses on a medieval secular graveyard. We will be continuing our excavation of the burial ground and analysis of the skeletons.