Excavations at the Roman ladder settlement in the 1930s indicated that the settlement might not have been entirely, well, Roman.
Small pieces of evidence suggest that its first inhabitants may have arrived during the late Iron Age, setting down their foundations before the Romans arrived. Occupation may then simply have continued, with the settlement expanding along with its new population, and the culture that went with it.
For archaeologists, the possibility of studying this transitional period, is a big deal. How did the local population respond to the arrival of the Romans?
But its not just the ladder settlement that suggests Elmswell Farm might be able to address this question; the surrounding area is teeming with Iron Age life, from the square barrows of the Arras culture at Pocklington, to the woman buried with an impressive Iron Age chariot at Wetwang.