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Best Preserved Bronze Age Village Discovered In Cambridgeshire

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posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 03:37 AM
The village is being described by archaeologists as like a Bronze Age Pompeii with the remains of two round houses and their contents well preserved in the silts of the river or wetlands they were built in.

Mark Knight, site director of the excavation, said: “We are, effectively, for the first time in British history about to go inside a Bronze Age roundhouse.
“We’re going to go inside a Bronze Age home, we’re going to see what’s in there, what they were wearing, what they were eating on the day of the fire.
“We’ll understand what the world they lived in looked like, what it smelt like. It’s a world we’ve dreamed about getting into. Here we have it in that space.”

The houses were built on stilts and destroyed by fire which allowed the their remains and contents to be deposited into what has become a time capsule , 29 complete vessels have been found with one still containing it's last meal and the spoon used to eat it.

“There were a couple of exploration digs in 2006, and then we started this bigger dig in August last year. It is due to finish in April.
“We have found bronze tools and weapons, which give us a snapshot of what life was like. We have also found textiles, and we can even tell what garments they were for. Normally with textiles you are lucky if you find pieces the size of a fingernail.
[url][/u rl]

One of the items shown is this remarkably well preserved spear head which is in such an incredible state of preservation it could still be used today , 3000 years after its creation.

Video from the site.

posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 03:52 AM
a reply to: gortex

Wow, that's some find. Three cheers for peat bogs yet again.

I love how there is still food in the bowls, materials in the houses; what an opportunity to visit a day in the life of a three thousand year old village. It'll be good to keep up with this and see the outcome. Three months doesn't seem long to excavate the whole site though.
Good luck to the team.

posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 06:02 AM
a reply to: gortex

Awesome, 2 amazing Ancient Civilizations threads going at the same time.

This one is truly exciting though. I like particularly like one of the lead archeologists: "for the first time in British history, we can actually see what it was like to live a Bronze Age life and actually step into their lives".......or words to that effect.

I was also struck by the comments on the geology - it was wetland, dry land, wetland again.....and so on. Makes you wonder what was influencing that (i didn't think this location was part of the Fens?).

posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 06:05 AM
I love these types of discoveries. The more we peal back the more we learn of our heritage and where we've come from.

S & F

posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 06:06 AM
Saw that on the news too. Pretty good find all round

posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 06:09 AM
a reply to: gortex

Dang that spear head looks like it could have been created today.

Awesome find. Thanks.

posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 06:10 AM
a reply to: Flavian

Hi Flavian glad you like it

Just had a quick search and Whittlesey where the site is located is described as an ancient Fenland market town , given the houses were built on stilts I think it more likely they were part of a Fenland village than built in a river but that's just my assumption.

posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 06:17 AM

originally posted by: Flavian
I was also struck by the comments on the geology - it was wetland, dry land, wetland again.....and so on. Makes you wonder what was influencing that (i didn't think this location was part of the Fens?).

Yes, the Fens stretch north into south Lincolnshire. The fact that most of it is now drained disguises the original extent.
A number of factors could be involved in the changes of condition.
There may have been geunine changes of sea-level (or the land itself rising or falling).
When drainage works fell into disrepair, previously drained land could have reverted. This is one theory about what happened when the Romans left.
Also drainage, in itself, shrinks the soil and reduces the height of the land surface (which is already strictly speaking below sea level over a large expanse). This increases its vulnerability to renewed flooding.
edit on 12-1-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 06:44 AM
a reply to: gortex

It is truly amazing Gortex, thanks again.

I was wondering because of the comments by the archeologists that they think they didn't rely on the Fens, more they think they hunted deer. I also (to my shame) completely missed the (crucial) bit about the houses being on stilts. That is a comprehension fail for me today. When are resits?

posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 06:53 AM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Thanks Disraeli. Again, a bit of a blunder on my part there as I only had a quick look at the location map and simply presumed it was too far inland to be the someone interested in Geography that is quite an appalling blunder!

Whilst the Romans certainly undertook some drainage work, most of the drainage work in this country was actually undertaken in the Medieval period (and later, the Victorians).

The reason i was idly speculating is that i have recently been looking more into the Angles and Saxons (and Jutes) and kept coming across the Cimbrian Flood (circa 3rd century AD). I can't seem to find geological evidence for it anywhere but there are several ancient sources that describe it - causing the Angles to flee their homelands. Any Baltic Sea flood would have certainly affected the Fens (eventually). Some ancient sources claim the sea made islands out if hills, etc so that level of water ingress would have devastated low lying coasts all over the Baltic and subsequently North Sea areas.

posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 08:03 AM
A lot of the land in that region, across Norfolk, parts of Suffolk and Cambridgeshire were basically marshes and an extension of The Wash tidal zone until the land was drained for agriculture. It's still maintained today with many drainage ditches, some of them very large indeed.
I have family in Norfolk who I visit at every opportunity and there are some fantastic places I mooch around, from fenland and bog to forests and coastal villages. So much history there, both ancient and more modern.

posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 02:30 PM
Fixed your link,

Anci ent bronze age village

Nice post by the way, Gortex.
The level of preservation is astounding.
The article wasn't clear, but did the whole villiage burn, to not be re occupied?
One has to wonder , what could burn an entire villiage to the ground so rapidly that people fled while eating. There are no volcanoes anywhere near by, and since it was built in a wetland/marshy area one would not expect the wood of the dwellings to be dry enough to flare up fast enough to spread and burn the whole villiage.

posted on Jan, 12 2016 @ 03:13 PM
a reply to: punkinworks10

Thanks for the fixed link

It's unclear at present what caused the fire , it may have been a raid or perhaps the village was abandoned and burned , the archaeologists are bringing a fire expert in to try to figure it out.
They believe there are more houses there but some will have been lost to the brick quarry . I think most of the work will go into excavating the two houses in the time they have left rather than dig for new ones now.

posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 03:53 AM
Archaeologists have started to recover finds from inside the round houses and have revealed this small wooden box with it's contents still inside , work to discover what the contents are will begin next week.

Other items so far discovered in the houses include an intact "fineware" pot and animal bones.

The team is currently about half-way through the eight-month dig to uncover the secrets of the site and the people who lived there.
Although they are in the very early stages of examining the house interior, the quality and quantity of what has been uncovered so far has left archaeologists "very excited".
The site has the "potential for more uncommon household objects including tools, cutlery and even furniture," they said.

I await with interest news of more treasures from our Bronze Age 'Pompeii'

posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 05:37 AM
a reply to: gortex

Great update - if I run across anymore news I'll add it in to your thread too. What is it about a wooden bronze age box that makes you (me) desperate to know what was inside? I shall be glued to this thread until April.

posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 08:59 AM

originally posted by: beansidhe
a reply to: gortex

What is it about a wooden bronze age box that makes you (me) desperate to know what was inside?:

"is it a souvenir... her pretty head. "

posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 11:09 AM
Wonderful thread, and thanks for the update! I'm teaching a short course on Jared Diamond's "Guns, Germs, and Steel" this week and have popped some of that into the lesson!

posted on Feb, 6 2016 @ 11:53 AM
a reply to: Marduk


posted on Feb, 19 2016 @ 04:03 AM
a reply to: gortex

Hey Gortex, look at this!

A complete Bronze Age wheel believed to be the largest and earliest of its kind found in the UK has been unearthed.
The 3,000-year-old artefact was found at a site dubbed "Britain's Pompeii", at Must Farm in Cambridgeshire. Archaeologists have described the find - made close to the country's "best-preserved Bronze Age dwellings" - as "unprecedented".

Still containing its hub, the 3ft-diameter (one metre) wooden wheel dates from about 1,100 to 800 BC. The wheel was found close to the largest of one of the roundhouses found at the settlement last month.
Its discovery "demonstrates the inhabitants of this watery landscape's links to the dry land beyond the river", David Gibson from Cambridge Archaeological Unit, which is leading the excavation, said.


The spine of what is thought to be a horse, found in early January, could suggest the wheel belonged to a horse-drawn cart, however, it is too early to know how the wheel was used, archaeologist Chris Wakefield said.

I wonder if they had wooden tracks around the houses, like roads?

posted on Feb, 19 2016 @ 09:10 AM
a reply to: beansidhe

Hey mate thanks for the update

It does seem an odd thing to find given the location of the houses , it looks like a substantial wheel judging by the picture of it and the archaeologist so I guess it must have been attached to something that was pulled by an animal rather than some kind of hand cart , if it were pulled by an Iron age Ox or Aurochs then they were substantial beasts so I doubt wooden walkways would take their weight but as we're learning these people were not short on ingenuity so who knows.

Here's the video from the link you posted.

Nice to see the site and finds on video , just like the original Pompeii this site just keeps on giving.

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