News ID: 125869
Publish Date : 02 April 2024 - 21:21

3,000-Year-Old Village in England Contains Beads From Iran

LONDON (BNN) -- A half-eaten bowl of porridge complete with a wooden spoon, communal rubbish bins, and a decorative necklace made with amber and glass beads are just a few of the extraordinarily well-preserved remnants of a late Bronze Age hamlet unearthed in eastern England. 
The discovery, dubbed Britain’s Pompeii, offers a ‘time capsule’ glimpse into village life nearly 3,000 years ago. Excavated between 2015 and 2016, the findings are now detailed in two reports published by University of Cambridge archaeologists, shedding light on the cozy domesticity of ancient settlement life.
The Must Farm settlement, dating back to about 850 B.C., was remarkably preserved due to a catastrophic fire that engulfed the stilt-built wooden roundhouses less than a year after their construction. 
The disaster caused the buildings and much of their contents to collapse into the mud of a slow-moving river below, where charring from the fire and waterlogging led to their exceptional preservation. 
According to Mark Knight, the excavation director, “It’s so comprehensive and so coherent,” highlighting the rare preservation disaster that captured everyday life as it was nearly three millennia ago.
Among the findings were stacks of spears, a decorative necklace with beads originating as far away as Denmark and Iran, clothes made of fine flax linen, and a female adult skull, possibly kept as a memento. 
The inhabitants’ diet was rich and varied, including boar, pike, bream, wheat, and barley. One pottery bowl still contained its last meal - a wheat grain porridge mixed with animal fats, with a wooden spatula resting inside. 
The settlement’s design, with buildings possibly housing up to 60 people along with animals, and individual homesteads for each family unit, paints a picture of a sophisticated and independent community life.
The Must Farm excavation has produced the largest collection of everyday Bronze Age artifacts ever discovered in the United Kingdom, including nearly 200 wooden artifacts, over 150 fiber and textile items, 128 pottery vessels, and more than 90 pieces of metalwork. Some data-x-items will soon be displayed at the nearby Peterborough Museum. 
Although the exact cause of the fire remains unknown, the preservation has provided a unique window into the past, allowing future generations to ‘see and smell’ the lives of those who lived three thousand years ago, according to Knight.