Bronze Age wheel discovered at 'British Pompeii'

Discovery in Cambridgeshire challenges previous understandings of the way families lived

First Complete Bronze Age Wheel Discovered at 'British Pompeii'
Archaeologists in the UK have made a fascinating new discovery at the edge of a brick quarry near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.

Mark Knight, the excavation site director, said: "What the guys are excavating at the moment is a Bronze Age wheel. The most complete Bronze Age wheel ever found in the UK."

See also: A new Pompeii? Cambridgeshire archaeologists in Bronze Age dig

See also: Castle remains discovered under prison in Gloucester

The discovery challenges previous understandings of the available technology and the way families lived in 1100 - 800 BC and traces of food have also been found in vessels in the area.

The dig at the edge of the quarry has drawn comparisons with the Roman city of Pompeii because it provides a time capsule into Bronze Age life, just as the era was ending.

Speaking of the discovery, Mark Knight said: "This will become the template, I guarantee it, over the next several decades about what we understand about the Bronze Age in Britain as a whole. What we understand about their houses, what we understand about the way that they lived.

"I think we'll be able to tell you what they were wearing, we'll be able to tell you what food was inside those pots, we'll give you a menu. We might even be able to tell you where they were sat when the fire took hold and this settlement burnt down. That kind of window on pre-history is unheard of."

Dwellings discovered at Must Farm quarry were built on stilts on a river and destroyed in a fire 3,000 years ago.

The water and silt has helped to preserve countless artefacts, helping build a picture of the settlement as a thriving community.

Knight also mentioned that they believe those in this community were at the centre of their world, not living on the edge.

The trees that are found in the area came from managed woodland, suggesting that the settlement was planned.

The archaeologists also believe this demonstrates that this settlement wasn't a one off and there are likely to be more settlements along this line.

They believe this site is the beginning of a colonisation that spreads across the fenland.

Knight described the settlement and the findings as "a first glimpse of a lost world".

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