Archive for the ‘Prehistoric’ 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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SIX Saxon skeletons dating back over a thousand years and Bronze Age round barrows have been discovered in Amesbury.

The remains, unearthed at a brownfield development site in London Road, are thought to be those of adolescent to mature

Ancient skeletons uncovered in Amesbury

Ancient skeletons uncovered in Amesbury

males and females.

Five skeletons were arrayed around a small circular ditch, with the grave of a sixth skeleton in the centre. Two lots of beads, a shale bracelet and other grave goods were also found.

The site is now being excavated for other artefacts by Wessex Archaeology led by Phil Harding from Channel 4’s Time Team.

Mr Harding said: “Given that the Stonehenge area is a well-known prehistoric burial site, it was always very likely some interesting discoveries would be made here. The fact that these round barrows were previously unknown makes this particularly exciting.

“Finding the skeletons also helps us to get a clearer picture of the history of this area. To my knowledge these are the first Pagan Saxon burials to be excavated scientifically in Amesbury.”

Contractor Mansell Ltd, part of the Balfour Beatty Group, was preparing the site for a housing development for Aster Group, when the discovery was made.

Site manager Brian Whitchurch-Bennett, said: “When we’re working in an area of historical importance we always undertake archaeological investigations to make sure that our construction works don’t damage hidden remains or artefacts. The findings within this particular site really are a one off. We’ve been amazed by the number of discoveries and the level of preservation. It’s certainly a project to remember.”

In May 2002 the Amesbury Archer was discovered during excavations of a new housing development.

The archaeologists are expected to be on site for six weeks. Footage from the site may also be included in an archaeological production for ITV’s History Channel, due to be aired in January 2014

By Elizabeth Kemble (Salisbury Journal) : http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/10428999.Ancient_skeletons_uncovered_in_Amesbury/

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