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Archive for the ‘bronze age’ Category

  • 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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A face from the past

This face is 2000 years old. He is a mature man with hair combed back, clean-shaven except for a well-groomed moustache. Images of prehistoric Britons are very rare and in the Iron Age people were almost never shown as statues or carved as part of the decoration on objects. La Tène art styles were usually abstract and rarely showed images of people, animals or plants. This pattern changed at the very end of the Iron Age in the south east of the England. Here, there are a few pictures of Iron Age men shown on coins or as decorations on wooden buckets.

This is one of three small bronze models of men’s faces that were the decoration on a wooden bucket found in a Late Iron Age cremation burial. The grave probably belonged to someone of great importance and wealth, perhaps even a king or queen. The bucket would have looked similar to the one found in another Late Iron Age cremation burial at Aylesford, Kent. This also had men’s faces on the handle mounts.

The grave was the burial of a king or queen similar to another royal grave at Welwyn Garden City. The grave also contained two bronze jugs and a bronze pan, similar to examples from the Aylesford burial. There were also two Roman silver cups, five Roman wine amphorae and many pots.

S. James and V. Rigby, Britain and the Celtic Iron Ag (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)

I.M. Stead, Celtic art in Britain before t (London, The British Museum Press, 1987, revised edition 1997)

Source: http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/pe_prb/b/bronze_model_of_a_human_head.aspx

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