Britain’s “Pompeii” has emerged in the UK county of Cambridgeshire as archaeologists unearthed incredibly well-preserved Bronze Age dwellings abandoned in haste by their inhabitants. The excavation, carried out at a quarry in Peterborough by Historic England and the University of Cambridge, provides an extraordinary insight into domestic life 3,000 years ago. Dating to the end of the Bronze Age (1200-800 BC), the settlement was home to several families who lived in a number of circular wooden houses built on stilts above a river.
Archaeologists found an extraordinary time capsule buried just over six feet below the ground surface, where the river bed actually was in 1000-800 BC. It contained textiles, small cups, bowls and jars complete with past meals still inside. Such is the level of preservation that the footprints of those living there are still visible in the waterlogged sediments.
The archaeologists also found exotic glass beads that were part of an elaborate necklace, suggesting “a sophistication not usually associated with the British Bronze Age,” Cambridge Archaeological Unit said in a statement.
The way the objects were found indicate people were forced to leave everything behind when fire caught on the houses. It is not known yet whether it was an accident or fire was set deliberately by hostile forces.
The archaeologists expect to find much more as the excavation, which is now half way through the four-year project, continues over the coming months.