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Boats from the Bronze Age: 3,000 year-old site reveals how early Brits took to t

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Kyra
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« on: December 11, 2011, 11:06:47 pm »



Boats from the Bronze Age: 3,000 year-old site reveals how early Brits took to the water

    Early Britons were very mobile - and 'commuted' via river
    Bronze Age fishermen used a method of eel trapping still used today
    Site contains long boats, spears, swords, clothing - and even jewellery

By Rob Waugh

Last updated at 11:32 PM on 9th December 2011

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Three thousand years ago Britons in East Anglia were skilled boat builders and sailors, enjoyed fishing, and the occasional bowl of nettle stew - and used a method of eel trapping still used today. They even used wooden cutlery.

This incredible, detailed picture of life three millennia ago is thanks to a haul of Bronze  Age boats, spears, swords and clothing have been unearthed at one of the most significant Bronze Age sites ever found in Britain, on the River Nene, at Must Farm quarry, Whittlesey.



Site Assistants Emma Rees (right) and Iona Robinson work on a Bronze Age long boat unearthed along the old course of the River Nene at Must Farm quarry in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire
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Kyra
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2011, 11:07:40 pm »



Bronze Age long boat: Researchers say the rare find in the East Anglian fens provides possibly the most detailed view yet of what life was like 3,000 years ago

Researchers say the rare find in the East Anglian fens provides possibly the most detailed view yet of what life was like 3,000 years ago.

Preserved in silt and peat along the old course of the River Nene, at Must Farm quarry, Whittlesey, items which would normally have long since decomposed have been pulled out of the earth by archaeologists in pristine condition.
The archaeologists have been able to dig to a much deeper level than normal by working with a local clay company
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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2011, 11:08:15 pm »



The archaeologists have been able to dig to a much deeper level than normal by working with a local clay company

‘Usually at a Bronze Age site you find pits and post-holes. But this time so much more has been preserved - we can actually see everyday life during the Bronze Age,' said David Gibson from Cambridge University

David Gibson, from Cambridge University’s archaeological unit, which is carrying out the dig, said: ‘It is giving us a 3-D vision of this community that we only see very rarely anywhere in the world, let alone in this country.

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

‘Convincing people that such places were once thriving settlements takes some imagination.

‘But this time so much more has been preserved - we can actually see everyday life during the Bronze Age in the round.’

The site is being excavated ahead of the extension of a local brick quarry and its importance means that it is now likely to be further investigated for some years.
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« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2011, 11:08:45 pm »

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« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2011, 11:09:26 pm »



Site Assistant Emma Rees works on a Bronze Age long boat unearthed along the old course of the River Nene at Must Farm quarry in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire

Hundreds of objects have been found. The most spectacular find is that of six boats, all from the Bronze Age but appearing at different levels in the silted up river.

These range from just over two metres to a little more than eight metres in length.

Each was hollowed out of the trunk of an oak tree and in some cases decorated with extensive carvings.

Elsewhere, the site has revealed weaponry such as swords and spears still with their handles intact, and everyday items such as wooden spoons, part of a cape, green and blue beads, ropes, buckets and wicker baskets.

Some of the weapons bear similarities to those found in northern Spain.

There were no significant coastal ports during the Bronze Age but the finds suggest East Anglian waterways may have been an important channel of communication with the frontiers of Britain and the continent.

It also indicates people were more mobile than previously thought.
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« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2011, 11:10:18 pm »



Our ancestors were much more mobile than previously thought - the research hints that the community sailed around the waterways of East Anglia, rather than remaining in one place

Researchers have identified the site of the settlement itself to the east of the current excavations. It is believed to have burned down at some point around 800BC.

All that is missing from the picture of the society are the bodies of the people who lived there.

Human remains may be lying in an as yet unexcavated area of land nearby, or they may have been buried in the river making them harder to find.

The community would have lived on the river, fishing for perch, pike and eels. According to the remains of a meal found in one wooden bowl on the site, they also enjoyed the occasional nettle stew.

One locally significant discovery is that of eel traps. Remarkably, the 3,000-year-old versions are very similar to those still used in East Anglia today.

‘A modern-day trapper was able to come in and tell us exactly how these traps were used and why,’ Mr Gibson said.

‘It’s amazing that such an ancient technology has continued right up to the present virtually unchanged.’

Archaeologists have been working closely with Hanson, the brick and cement supplier which owns the quarry.

The company’s need for clay which lies at Jurassic age levels in the earth means that the dig team have been able to excavate far deeper than on normal archaeological sites.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2072119/Bronze-Age-site-offers-complete-picture-life-East-Anglia-3-000-years-ago--skilled-sailors-used-cutlery.html
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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2011, 11:13:09 pm »

Bronze Age boats discovered at a quarry in Whittlesey
Bronze Age boats Bronze Age boats have been found by archaeologists at a quarry in Whittlesey



    Ancient wetland to be recreated
    Bronze Age site is found in city

Bronze Age boats, spears and clothing dating back 3,000 years and described as the "finds of a lifetime" have been discovered near Peterborough.

Archaeologists from the University of Cambridge have unearthed hundreds of items at a quarry in Whittlesey.

The objects, discovered at one of the most significant Bronze Age sites in Britain, have been perfectly preserved in peat and silt.

It is thought the settlement burned down in about 800 BC.

David Gibson, project manager for the excavation, said: "It is giving us a 3-D vision of this community that we only see very rarely in the world, let alone in this country."

Ropes, buckets and wooden spoons as well as swords and spears with their handles intact have been found at the site, which lies along the old course of the River Nene.

Six boats hollowed from the trunk of an oak tree, some with extensive carvings, have also been discovered on the site.


'Finds of a lifetime'
Bronze Age boats The boats were discovered three metres below the modern-day surface

It is thought the community would have lived on the river, fishing for perch, pike and eels.

The remains of a nettle stew have been discovered in a wooden bowl.

"Convincing people that such places were once thriving settlements takes some imagination," Mr Gibson said.

"But this time so much more has been preserved - we can actually see everyday life during the Bronze Age in the round. These are the finds of a lifetime."

The discoveries were uncovered three metres below the modern-day surface in places as part of the university excavation, which started in August and is expected to end in February.

But the importance of the finds could mean the site will be investigated for several years to come.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-16113008
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