Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of an ancient village in Britain dated to about 1,300-8,000 BC. The quality of the preservation have led some to equate it with the well-preserved ancient Roman city of Pompeii, which was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in the year 79 AD.
Based upon what has been uncovered so far, it seems that the village was a “crannog” – a village that is built upon either an artificial island or one that is elevated above a water body through the use of wooden piles and a platform. This village is in the second category.
The site, known as Must Farm, is located just outside a quarry at Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire, England. It was discovered in 1999 by a local archaeologist, but excavation didn’t get underway until five years later in 2004. A more thorough examination of the site occured two years afterwards in 2006. Archaeologists determined that the village was built sometime between 1,300-1,000 BC. A wooden palisade fence which surrounded the village was added later, dated fom 1,000-800 BC. At some time, the village suffered from a fire, and the damaged builginds dropped into the river below. gradually, they were covered over with river silt, preserving them. The timeframe of this site places it within Britain’s late Bronze Age. The use of iron had not yet arrived in the British Isles, and it would not until about about 800 BC.
The Cambridge University Archaeological Unit, working in association with Historic England and Forterra, have been conducting an eight-month-long excavation of the site, beginning in September 2015. The houses that have been uncovered here are of a typical northwestern European “round house” design common among the Celtic people. In addition to the remains of the buildings, they have uncovered a wealth of Bronze Age artifacts, ranging from wooden eating utensils to pottery to textiles. Regrettably, half of the settlement has been damaged or destroyed due to the quarrying operations at the site.
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