However, the Anglo Saxon remains came as a complete surprise.
The surface mine at Shotton has given us the first direct evidence of Anglo Saxon settlement in this part of the county, and has confirmed its potential for making important archaeological discoveries.
But in spite of this, Anglo Saxon society was a place rich in culture - a fact proved by the stunning artifacts in the Staffordshire hoard found by metal detector Tony Herbert.
Beowulf is only one example of the Anglo Saxon world's poetic splendour.
Dr Steve Sherlock, a Redcar man born and bred is one of the leading Anglo Saxon archaeologists of his generation.
He has taken the study of Anglo Saxon settlement not only in the region, but nationally to another level of understanding.
Visitors are in for a triple treat - an Anglo Saxon
Taking place on July 19 families can go down to the World Museum and see what life was like for Anglo Saxons
One of the North of England's most remarkable finds from Anglo Saxon
times has been painstakingly unearthed by local archaeologists at a formerly secret site in East Cleveland.
Alex Croom, curator at the fort, said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for visitors to experience Anglo Saxon
life and to find out more about the earliest English citizens.
NGyrwe, an Anglo Saxon
demonstration farm containing rare animal breeds and experimentally reconstructed timber buildings
Pollington has written many books about the Anglo Saxons
and Old English.