Fire inspectors shed new light on the destruction of the Bronze Age Must Farm site

Fire inspectors aiding excavations of the Bronze Age village of Must Farm in the marshlands of eastern England that burned down 3000 years ago state that the fire might have been set on purpose, possibly in a raid by a hostile group of warriors. The researchers found that the four discovered houses were likely all burned at the same time, suggesting it was large fire. It is unlikely that such a fire and its spread could have started from something like a spark off a hearth.

Excavations at the Must Farm site (by Live Science)
Excavations at the Must Farm site (by Live Science)

The original Bronze Age village at the Must Farm archaeological site in Peterborough consisted of up to eight circular wooden houses built on stilts above a river, and would have been home to several families. Tree-ring analysis dated the posts from the houses to between 1290 and 1250 B.C., and showed they were all cut down in a single autumn, according to the researchers. Within a few years after construction the prehistoric village was burned down and abandoned.

Remains of Bronze Age wooden households at Must Farm (by Live Science)

The discoveries include many rare wooden tools and other artefacts preserved in the marshy ground of the fenlands, such as kitchen platters made from sewn layers of bark; wooden spoons and buckets; a bronze axe and a bronze-tipped spear with their wooden hafts intact; eight log boats; and one of the oldest wooden wheels ever found in Britain.

(after Live Science)

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