A prehistoric site in Whittlesey has been named as one of the 100 sites which best represent history in England reports Petersboroough Today. Bronze age settlement Must Farm, which saw perfectly preserved 3,000 year-old round houses discovered in a clay pit, has been selected in the A History of England in 100 Places campaign.
The settlement had been destroyed by fire, and was named ‘Britain’s Pompeii’ after its discovery in 2016. Must Farm was chosen by Cambridge historian Mary Berry in the 10 places for Loss & Destruction category – alongside places including the Hillsborough football stadium, Whitby Abbey, Monument at Pudding Lane, where the great Fire of London started and The Mary Rose.
This is one of the greatest recent testimonies to the ability of archaeology to recover the lost past- and a past that we learn suffered its own catastrophes.
A podcast where Mary Beard discusses her selections is available by searching for ‘Irreplaceable: A History of England in 100 Places’ on iTunes.
Rare Stilt houses found at Must Farm
Large circular wooden houses built on stilts collapsed in a dramatic fire 3,000 years ago and plunged into a river, preserving their contents in astonishing detail. Archaeologists say the excavations have revealed the best-preserved Bronze Age dwellings ever found in Britain.
Archaeologists have revealed exceptionally well-preserved Bronze Age dwellings during an excavation at Must Farm quarry in the East Anglian fens that is providing an extraordinary insight into domestic life 3,000 years ago. The settlement, dating to the end of the Bronze Age (1200-800 BC), would have been home to several families who lived in a number of wooden houses on stilts above water.
The settlement was destroyed by fire that caused the dwellings to collapse into the river, preserving the contents in situ. The result is an extraordinary time capsule containing exceptional textiles made from plant fibres such as lime tree bark, rare small cups, bowls and jars complete with past meals still inside. Also found are exotic glass beads forming part of an elaborate necklace, hinting at a sophistication not usually associated with the British Bronze Age.
The exposed structures are believed to be the best-preserved Bronze Age dwellings ever found in Britain and the finds, taken together, provide a fuller picture of prehistoric life than we have ever had before.