"Best-preserved Bronze Age dwellings ever found in Britain" at Must Farm quarry

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
Staff member
Nov 23, 2002
I was just coming to give a link to this, and thought I'd better check no one had beaten me to it! Very interesting about all the finds they've got, including woven material and thread.
Thanks. Cool site. You wonder how they could possibly hope to determine if a fire 3000 years ago was an accident or deliberate. Boggles the mind!
Another link to the 3,000 year old Oak Plank wheel (Bronze Age, so likely Proto - Celts )
Perfectly preserved bronze age wheel unearthed in Cambridgeshire

He said the discovery was further evidence of how the people of this settlement lived on and in the water and were rich enough to all but ignore the abundant food a few feet away – the fish, eels and water fowl swimming around their foundations.
Instead the bones and food traces reveal that they were eating quantities of lamb, along with pork, beef and venison, and various grains. They clearly had large numbers of domesticated animals pastured on the nearest dry land, and though the superbly preserved log boats found five years ago on another part of the site must have been the main form of transport, the wheel proves that they also had horse drawn carts.
Fits nicely with my fantasy history Bronze Age people.
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Sigh! I wish the BBC could talk about such finds using archaeologists rather than presenters who think Bronze Age men must have been very hairy, and that explains why tweezers have been found. For me, this sums up everything wrong with reporting news today.
Why? Would they have not being very hairy...a sort of 'hipster' Bronze Age counter culture to a modernising Iron Age encroachment.
Oh, how could I, or should I say CNN just now discovered this treasure! :rolleyes:
Did anyone watch this? I missed it and was wondering if it was worth iPlayering. I watch so little TV these days that it has to be good for me to give up the time... That said Alice Roberts is generally very good.
I did. It wasn't bad, but to my mind could have been better. But I am very pernickity.

The good news is it wasn't as dumbed-down as some of them can be, and since it was BBC, and therefore no ads**, we were spared those awful repetitions after every break to remind everyone what they'd reminded us of umpteen times before. There was other repetition which could have been excised though, eg the same panning shots over the excavations, a CGI of palisades going up, and her expressions of delight, and she was so keen to stress how the inhabitants were probably European "immigrants" (her word) and that they were part of a wonderful pan-European trading group it would undoubtedly have been a bone of contention with Brexiteers if it had been shown pre-referendum!

She buzzed over to Lake Constance to see a replica lake-village, and to a German museum with a gorgeous metal depiction of the night sky which they think was a planting guide, both well worth seeing, though I'm not sure why the latter was relevant to the Must Farm site save in a general sense of what was happening in the Bronze Age, and in both cases I'd have liked to have been told a lot more eg about the construction of the village. And they had a couple of re-enactment type things. The first was building and then setting fire to a round house so a forensic archeologist could see how quickly it burned, which I thought rather a waste of time -- it burned quickly, but so what? -- while the interesting investigation happened off screen when he came to the conclusion the fire had started inside a house. The second was a bronze-smith making a sword -- they've found lots there, and plenty of arrow heads, axe heads, and scythes, all of which looked like new! -- and that was very good, but again I'd have liked more detail.

As ever there were far too many mood shots -- Alice Roberts looking thoughtful, lovely scenes of reeds rippling over lakes and the like -- and for my taste not nearly enough concrete information: we were told the bowls still contained food, but not what kind of food it was (OK they need to do tests, but I'd expect some ideas); we saw animal bones, but no discussion of what creatures they came from; we saw a tool used for beating plants to get the fibres for cloth-making, but little detail of how it was used or what plants.

Overall, to my mind the actual info given could easily have been condensed into a much shorter programme. If they had to make it an hour's length, then they could have had more of the archeologists and experts talking of what they'd found. So for me, it was only around 7½/10.

** but there were regular pauses, and I can't help thinking it was designed to be shown elsewhere which would have ads, and they'd built ad-zones into it all ready for a voice-over!
Hmmm, as I get older I'm getting steadily more pernickity too (great word that! :)). I really miss the days when documentaries were about presenting facts in an easy to understand manner rather than some strange overriding desire to focus more on the visual and dramatic aspects.

On top of that I'm already familiar with that German metal depiction of the sky if it's the Nebra sky disk.

I guess it'll be a maybe... if I have a spare hour sometime.
Yep that's it, the Nebra sky disc. I'd not seen it before, so it was enthralling, but bound to be a bit same-y for you if you know about it.

And I feel exactly the same about this emphasis on making everything dramatic (the only reason for setting the roundhouse on fire as far as I could see, as it made for great shots of burning thatch). Trouble is, these programmes -- and a good bit of the heritage industry like the NT -- are all about entertainment nowadays, not education/information. Bah, humbug. The two of us shall have to set up a Pernickity Viewers Association to bring back good documentaries!
Bah humbug indeed. I mean I do enjoy "docu-dramas" but they are a very different beast to a documentary. These days the documentaries don't seem to know which they want to be.

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