|The investigations can be divided into five separate phases or events. The first three, undertaken by Lancaster University Archaeological Unit involved machine-stripping areas of topsoil, the sample excavation of four areas each 5m by 5m, and a geophysical survey. An interim report on this work was prepared and circulated (Neil 1993), and it was the results contained therein that first prompted recognition of the importance of the site.
Later, in April 1994 Andrew Johnson (Manx National Heritage) fieldwalked an area 80m by 70m south of the area previously investigated. This revealed an extensive flint scatter which included another projectile point and a fragment of Langdale stone (see Darvill 1996a, 12). Later still, in August 1994, further excavations were carried out under the direction of Dr Peter Davey (Centre for Manx Studies) to complete the investigation of the Neolithic features revealed by the previous excavations. Pottery and charcoal were recovered.
Although carried out piecemeal over an extended period, these pieces of work confirmed the potential of the site, especially its Neolithic component. As such it was exactly the kind of site being sought by Bournemouth University for a training excavation that fitted into a set of research objectives relating to the development of early farming societies in western Europe. The addition of a `rescue' element to the work provided a interesting third dimension. A full statement of research objectives, and links to the methodologies employed, has been set out in a Project Design (Darvill 1995; and see 1996a, 9-10) which is updated each season to take account of results from the previous year. Thus a dynamic relationship is established between new discoveries and new research-driven objectives.