Britain’s “Pompeii” has emerged in the UK county of Cambridgeshire as archaeologists unearthed incredibly well-preserved Bronze Age dwellings abandoned in haste by their inhabitants.
Dating to the end of the Bronze Age (1200-800 BC), the settlement was home to several families who lived in a number of circular wooden houses built on stilts above a river.
Bronze-Age Battle Frozen in Time: Photos
A fire destroyed the settlement causing the houses to fall into the river, where silt and clay preserved the contents.
“It’s a frozen moment in time,” Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said.
“We are learning more about the food our ancestors ate, and the pottery they used to cook and serve it … This site is of international significance and its excavation really will transform our understanding of the period,” he added.
Archaeologists found an extraordinary time capsule buried just over six feet below the ground surface, where the river bed actually was in 1000-800 BC. It contained textiles, small cups, bowls and jars complete with past meals still inside.
Such is the level of preservation that the footprints of those living there are still visible in the waterlogged sediments.
The archaeologists also found exotic glass beads that were part of an elaborate necklace, suggesting “a sophistication not usually associated with the British Bronze Age,” Cambridge Archaeological Unit said in a statement.
The way the objects were found indicate people were forced to leave everything behind when fire caught on the houses. It is not known yet whether it was an accident or fire was set deliberately by hostile forces.
The archaeologists expect to find much more as the excavation, which is now half way through the four-year project, continues over the coming months.
“Usually at a Later Bronze Age period site you get pits, post-holes and maybe one or two really exciting metal finds,” David Gibson, archaeological manager at the Cambridge Archaeological Unit, 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,” he added.
Originally published on Discovery News.
By Rossella Lorenzi
With many thanks to Live Science.
Stonehenge: A Breakthrough In An Age-old Mystery?
Chauvet Cave Paintings: Cave Women Left Their Artistic Mark
Colossal Pharaoh Statues of Amenhotep III Found in Egypt’s Temple City Luxor
Lost City of Heracleion Gives Up Its Secrets
Shilling Discovery 'Could' Rewrite Canadian History
Fake Pharaoh: Tutankhamun Replica To Safeguard Original Tomb
10,000-year-old House Uncovered Outside Of Jerusalem
Rock-hewn Tombs From Ancient Egypt Discovered In Aswan
Europe's Oldest Human Footprints Found: 900,000 Year-old Norfolk Footprints 'Definitely Human”
First Pharaoh Ruled Ancient Egypt Earlier Than First Thought
The Antikythera Mechanism - The World's Oldest Known Computer
Archaeologists Digging Up Cecile B DeMille's Movie Treasures
The Lost Technology of Ancient Egyptians
The Elgin Marbles - A Continuing Controversy
Zeugma: 2,000-Year-Old Mosaics Uncovered In Turkey
Five Lost Cities
China's Lost Civilization: The Mystery Of Sanxingdui
Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharaoh
Ancient Tomb in Amphipolis Revealed
Easter Island: Scientists Are Closer To Understanding What Wiped Out Its Society
The World’s Priceless Treasures
Relief of Queen Nefertiti
Gold Treasures Discovered in Ming Dynasty Tomb
Unique Mosaic Images Uncovered in Fifth-Century Synagogue
Philip of Macedonia, Greece’s Ancient King, Found
Queen Nefertiti: Was She Hidden In King Tutankhamun’s Tomb?
The Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art of Northern Spain
The Antikythera Mechanism: Second Expedition Seeks More Mechanism Remains
Discovery Of Ancient Cave Paintings In Petra
Scientists Find ‘Superhenge’ That Could Be Five Times The Area Of Stonehenge
Rome Reborn – An Amazing Digital Model of Ancient Rome
A Day in Pompeii
The Holigost: 600 Year Old Pride of Henry V’s Fleet May Have Been Found
Ippolito Rosellini: The Monuments of Egypt And Nubia
Gem-Filled Warrior's Tomb Discovered in Ancient Greek City
Amenhotep’s Fragmented Book Of The Dead Found
Acra: Ancient Citadel Unearthed In Jerusalem
Glastonbury Legends, King Arthur’s ‘Grave’, Made Up For Cash By Monks
Is Queen Nefertiti Buried In King Tutankhaman’s Tomb? - Latest News
King Hezekiah's Seal Impression Found
Spanish Galleon San Jose Discovered Laden With Treasure Off Colombia
Has The Lost Island Of Kane Been Found?
Babylonians Tracked Jupiter with Fancy Math, Tablet Reveals
New Clues to Ancient Roman Art Discovered in Egyptian Mummy Portraits
Hidden Rooms In King Tut’s Tomb May Contain Organic Material
Ancestral Puebloans Were Hit By Boom and Bust
Bible Breakthrough Found In Israel
What’s REALLY Inside A Pyramid:1st 3D Images Created Using Cosmic Particles
Queen Hatshepsut's Building Blocks Discovered
Nefertiti Still Missing: King Tut's Tomb Shows No Hidden Chambers
The World's 20 Most Impressive Ancient Builds
Dagger in King Tut's Tomb Was Made With Iron From A Meteorite
Rare Ancient Greek Gold Crown Discovered Under A Bed.
Team Testing New Scanner on Egypt's Great Pyramid
Ancient Mayan Observatory Was Used To Track Venus And Mars
Has The Gateway to Ancient Greek God's Compound Been Uncovered?
Archaeologists Find 22 Ancient Greek Shipwrecks
Archaeologists Reveal Probable Sites Of Two Missions That Predate The Alamo
Palace Found At Tintagel, Fabled Birthplace Of King Arthur
Marble Statues of Aphrodite Unearthed At Petra
Did the Greeks Help Sculpt China's Terra Cotta Warriors?
Egyptian Mummy And Temple 4200 Years Old With Well-Preserved Art Revealed