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Excavations at British sites are Revolutionizing Prehistoric Studies and Revealing Secrets of the Past from Ayman's blog

Excavations at British sites are Revolutionizing Prehistoric Studies and Revealing Secrets of the Past

You might say British archaeology is in a golden age, especially with excavations and discoveries at two sites that are adding great knowledge of the prehistory of the islands. One site, from about 2500 BC, is on the Orkney Islands off Scotland’s northern coast, and the other, from about 1000 BC, is not far from London.

The excavations at the two sites coincide with a two-week British Festival of Archaeology that wraps up this weekend.

Though they are separated by many years and about 650 miles (1,050 km), the two sites are providing insights into what life was like in the British Isles before there were written language and historians to record the lives of the people.

In the Orkneys are a settlement, monumental stone circle and temple complex called Ness of Brodgar that has been under excavation since 2003. For about 4,500 years, the earth held the secrets of an ancient people who worshiped, farmed and lived there. Over the years archaeologists have been extracting those secrets and now want to share them with the world. (See here for a website about Brodgar.)

The site in England, at Whittlesey in Cambridgeshire, was a settlement of roundhouses that burned, perhaps in an attack by hostiles, and fell into the river, where the silt preserved the settlers’ stuff so well that some are calling it Britain’s Pompeii.

A bronze socketed ax was one of many Bronze Age tools found at Must Farm, a site that dates back about 3,000 years and is the finest site of that era ever found in Britain and one of the finest in Europe.


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