Unique discoveries and diggings in East Agelia are giving archaeologists an unprecedented glimpse of life in prehistoric Britain 3,000 years ago. Excavations near Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire are yielding some of the best preserved Bronze Age artefacts ever found anywhere in northern Europe – including beautifully woven textiles, wooden bowls, fine pottery and bronze tools.
Not only have archaeologists found literally hundreds of day to day objects of use, but they have also unearthed some of the homes they were used in.
These preservations are giving pre-historians an exclusive look at domestic architecture like in Bronze Age Britain. “It is simply the most complete Bronze Age wooden building ever found in this country,” said David Gibson, the excavation’s project manager.
Almost half of the nine meter, diameter house has been fully preserved, including its roof, walls and floor. The total amount of remains and objects found amount to about six large, roundhouses with a total population of between 30 and 50 people.
All clothes seem to have been made with plant-based fibres and specially lime baste, fibrous material, immediately beneath the bark of the lime tree. It's the largest collection of Bronze Age textiles ever found in the country.
The pottery that was discovered includes the remains of 60cm tall storage jars and soft 5cm high burnished drinking beakers, manufactured in northern French style.
It is likely that it was built on the water for defensive reasons – but perhaps also in order to control and potentially even ‘tax’ river traffic.
The four year £1.1 million excavation is being funded by Historic England and a leading UK brick manufacturer, Forterra.
What are the benefits of finding such remains?
In spite of the best efforts, times change, societies change and empires and mythis and religious systems simply fade away (or crumble down) and are replaced by more modern societies with better and more efficient means of functioning. So, archaeology enables us to regard ourselves (modern, technologically driven, smart people) inside the same processes that are responsible for the rise and fall of social and ideological structures. Also, archaeology helps us become more humble as we date back in time and realize that we can see beyond the advances of technology and learn about the foundations of our existance.