Archeologists Discover Bronze Age Houses In Britain’s ‘Pompeii’

Posted: Jan 13 2016, 3:03am CST | by , Updated: Jan 13 2016, 7:06pm CST, in News | Latest Science News


Archeologists Discover Bronze Age Homes in Britain’s ‘Pompeii’
Close up of stilts and collapsed timbers. Credit: University of Cambridge

Ancient homes provide new extraordinary insight daily life some 3,000 years ago.

Archeologists have found remarkably well-preserved ancient homes at a site in Cambridgeshire, England. 

The ancient homes are estimated to be 3000 years old and provide a new extraordinary insight into domestic life during the Bronze Age.

The Bronze Age dwelling consists of two circular wooden houses built on stilts above the river and must had been occupied by several families before supposedly the houses caught fire and collapsed into the river. The houses remained buried there ever since. 

"What's special about this is, it's not the archaeology of the important people. It's not burial mounds. This is the archaeology of the home.” David Gibson from the Cambridge Archaeological Unit said. 

The excavation was carried out at Must Farm Quarry by a joint team of researchers from University of Cambridge and Historic England. Though the site was discovered back in 2006, it was only recently that the digging began. 

Researchers recovered various everyday items from the houses such as pans, rare small cups, jewelry, cloths, daggers and pots even with food inside them, providing new clues about everyday life in an ancient society. 

The items were sitting approximately two meters below ground level and dates back to roughly 1000 to 800 BC, near the end of Bronze Age.

“Usually at a Later Bronze Age period site you get pits, post-holes and maybe one or two really exciting metal finds.” Gibson said.

“But this time so much more has been preserved – we can actually see everyday life during the Bronze Age in the round. It’s prehistoric archaeology in 3D with an unsurpassed finds assemblage both in terms of range and quantity.”

Researchers believe that the houses were abandoned in haste by their inhibitors, likely due to fire. Then houses plunged into river and preserved everything inside them remarkably well.

“A dramatic fire 3,000 years ago combined with subsequent waterlogged preservation has left to us a frozen moment in time, which gives us a graphic picture of life in the Bronze Age.” Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England said. 

Researchers have also found the footprints of those who once lived in the houses as well as remains of timbers that served as stilts back in those days. The findings suggest there is much more to be discovered in the rest of the settlement as the large-scale excavation at Must Farm Quarry continues over the coming months.

“Must Farm is the first large-scale investigation of the deeply buried sediments of the fens and we uncover the perfectly preserved remains of prehistoric settlement," said Mark Knight, a Cambridge archaeologist and leader of the excavation. "Everything suggests the site is not a one-off but in fact presents a template of an undiscovered community that thrived 3,000 years ago 'beneath' Britain's largest wetland."


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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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