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Friday, March 25, 2016

Scientists Unearth Perfectly Preserved 3,000-Year-Old Wooden Wheel In ‘British Pompeii’


Written by Angela Laguipo

Archeologists unearthed the largest and best preserved 3,000-year-old wheel from a quarry site in Cambridgeshire known as "Britain's Pompeii." The discovery sheds light on the lives of ancestors during the Bronze Age.

It is the latest remarkable find at a quarry out of a former brickworks at Must Farm, Peteborough. Experts call the discovery as unprecedented since the artifact can be traced back to about 1,100 to 800 B.C. and it's the country's best-preserved Bronze Age dwellings.

"This site is one continuing surprise, but if you had asked me, a perfectly preserved wheel is the last thing I would have expected to find," Mark Knight, site director, who is from the Cambridge University's archaeology unit, said.

"On this site objects never seen anywhere else tend to turn up in multiples, so it's certainly not impossible we'll go on to find another even better wheel," he added.

Largest And Oldest Wheel Ever Found

Measuring just a meter in diameter, the wheel is the most ancient find ever in Britain. The wheel could be from an Italian town where a fire broke out and destroyed five round houses. The round houses are believed to have collapsed into the river with all their contents.

"The existence of this wheel expands our understanding of Late Bronze Age technology and the level of sophistication of the lives of people living on the edge of the Fens 3,000 years ago," said Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, which is a public body that takes care historical places in the country, among other things.

The oldest wheel from the Bronze Ages found in Britain, Flag Fen, dates back to about 1,300 B.C. and was also found near Peterborough. This wheel is slightly smaller with a diameter of only 0.8 meter (2.6 feet).

Other old wheels from England dates back to at least 2,500 B.C. in the Copper Age.

"Among the wealth of other fabulous artifacts and the new structural remains of round houses built over this river channel," Kasia Gdaniec from the Cambridgeshire County Council, said. Gdaniec added that the quarry site and their findings continue to amaze them.

The £1.1 million ($1.57 million) excavation was jointly funded by Historic England and Forterra, the quarry owner. The dig was originally planned to finish by March, but with all the discoveries coming the project might be extended.

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