Archive for June 4th, 2013

  • The boats, the largest of them 28 feet long,  are thought to have been used for ferrying cargo and  passengers in the Fens  some 3,500 years ago
  • Now being preserved for future study and as  a tourist attraction
  • Log boats from the Bronze Age have been  found before, but never have so many been found in the same place
  • Each of the boats was hewn from a single  tree trunk, six of them oaks, one alder and one lime

Bronze age boats

Eight amazingly preserved log boats have been  hailed as ‘more important than the Mary Rose’ after being dug up from a  silted-up river.

The boats, the largest of them 28 feet (8.5m)  long, are thought to have been used for ferrying cargo and passengers in the  Fens some 3,500 years ago.

They are now being preserved for future study  and as a tourist attraction using the same conservation techniques that saved  the Mary Rose from falling apart when raised from the Solent.

One of them was decorated with a pattern of  crosses on the inside and outside of the log, but the significance is  unclear.

Quite why each of them ended up at the bottom  of an old course and now silted up course of the River Nene remains a  mystery.

It appears that they were all, separately,  sunk deliberately over a period of about 600 years when the transom board from  the stern was removed.

Because of the way the boats were made, they  had to have a transom fitted at one end to replace wood that would have rotted.  All eight have been found with a slot for the transom board.

‘All the transom boards have been removed and  we didn’t find them. That suggests they have been sunk intentionally,’ said Mr  Panter.

Aricle by Lewis Smith in the Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2335273/Eight-Bronze-Age-log-boats-important-Mary-Rose-emerge-silted-river-thousands-years-left-rot.html

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