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

@Vertigo and @The Judge ---- pernickity people that you are, you are both the sort of people which are looking to learn something more than simply being entertained, which makes you part of a very small minority. Here in the states even the "news" programs are really more interested in being entertaining for the sake of ratings. And do you really think that television will ever set the bar so high as to need University to understand what's being said. Plus, visual arts loves atmospheric mood shots. If you can do it, they reason, why not?

..... I know, I'm being preachy, put it off to having a bad day. (Okay?) ....
You're right, Parson, I know. But I feel the need every now and then to let off steam against the continual infantilisation of society, with everything reduced to the level of a not-very-intelligent child, and entertainment valued above information. I don't mind entertainment in its place. I don't mind visuals, which can be wonderful. I do mind dumbing-down. *sigh*

Anyway, sorry to hear you're having a bad day. Hope it gets better soon. (And if you're not allowed to be preachy at times, who is?! ;))
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 saw it and I agree with much of what TJ has already said.

One thing I didn't realise before (I've probably not being paying attention) is that there are several round houses. I had the impression (or assumed) that there was just one.

I was particularly impressed with the wheel. It somehow made the whole thing come to life.
I'd forgotten about the wheel -- that was interesting to see. But again, I felt there was a great deal more we could have been told eg its size (if they did mention this, I certainly missed it), eg the likely form of cart, eg whether it would have been bound with metal. Most importantly, what on earth a wheel which presupposes land transport was doing in a house which was built on stilts over water! Especially when everyone kept saying how important the waterways were for travel and commerce. So was it just for transporting the materials for building the settlement in the first place (though presumably the trees were local and the thatch was reed from the water margins) or for crops from their fields, or might in fact they have been trading with settlements further inland? They probably couldn't have given any answers, but they didn't even seem to be asking any questions.
Agreed TJ. I read a 'specialist' in one newspaper suggesting that they were manufacturing a cart in the round house. I suppose they may have been making parts of it for assembly elsewhere (can't see them getting a whole cart out through the door) or more likely just doing some kind of repair.
You know, I stumbled across this article again just now - and the idea of having dwellings over water very much reminds me of Scottish Crannogs.

From the BBC article about the Cambridgeshire finds:


From the Wikipedia article on Crannogs:


That leaves me wondering if we're looking at a cultural link.

The Cambridgeshire site dates to around 1000-800BC, whereas Scottish Crannogs - according to Wikipedia - appear in the Neolithic period, then disappear, only to re-appear again from around 800BC.

A quick look suggests this may correspond to the invasion/migration of the Celts into Britain - which, interestingly enough, occurs around 1200BC across Europe - and is contemporary with the collapse of Bronze Age civilizations around the Eastern Mediterranean: Atlantic Bronze Age - Wikipedia

In which case, is this style of building over water a response to such an invasion/migration - or a new way of living introduced at the time?

Simply thinking aloud. :)
A report this week suggests that a lot of the structures at Must Farm may have only been up a year before they burned down:
The short life of Must Farm

Frustratingly, the original report (found here) doesn't appear to date that.

Interestingly enough, the entire Flag Fen site - of which Must Farm is a part of - is mentioned in the above as being inhabited around 1200-800 BC. This is interesting because Cline has claimed major environmental changes around 1100 BC and causing the collapse of Bronze Age civilization in the Mediterranean: The collapse of Bronze Age civilisation

Curiously, though, major climate change in Britain doesn't appear in the geological record until 300 years later - around 800 BC. Luckily, the Flag Fen site has been overseen for decades by Francis Pryor - who not only appeared a lot on Time Team, but also happens to write a lot of books about prehistory, including one specifically about Flag Fen. I'm just going to have to read more by him to explore this mystery further.
Just to update on Must Farm:

And the free reports, if you're interested, from the research team themselves:

When it came to Bronze Age buildings they really were a must have.
Another article about Must Farm on the BBC website, but what I find especially valuable in this media report is the mention of zoning in the dwellings, which has always been an important aspect we've not had access to before:

In one roundhouse, complete pots and wooden containers were recovered from the northwest suggesting that was the cooking area, metal tools appeared to have been stored in its eastern corner and fine textiles and bundles of fibres were found in the southeast corner, close to the light of the entranceway, which suggested this was a good place to work on those materials.

Similar threads