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FOUND: A Bronze Age Settlement Dubbed ‘Britain’s Pompeii’

Textiles from 3,000 years ago (Photo: Cambridge Archaeological Unit

Three thousand years ago, not far from what’s now Cambridge, England, a small settlement stood in a swampy area, its round houses lifted over the water by wooden stilts, until one day, something went wrong.

Maybe it was a cooking fire, or an attack on the houses. But two of the houses caught fire, and when their roofs collapsed the houses fell into the water, sinking into the muck, where they were preserved for millennia.

The excavation site (Photo: Cambridge Archaeological Unit

Now, a team of archaeologists have begun excavating the site, “the best preserved Bronze Age dwellings ever found in Britain,” the Guardian writes.

They have already found a trove of incredibly preserved objects from the daily lives of these Bronze Age people–”jewelry, spears, daggers, giant food storage jars and delicate drinking cups, glass beads, textiles and a copper spindle with thread still wound around it.” 

A dagger found at the site (Photo: Cambridge Archaeological Unit)

These artifacts have the potential to revolutionize modern understanding of how ancient people lived, which is why it’s being called “Britain’s Pompeii.” 

A ring that was probably part of a shoulder belt ((Photo: Cambridge Archaeological Unit

Already, the artifacts uncovered indicated that these people had more wealth than previously imagined. The finds include carefully constructed cups and glass beads, as well as a cow spine, indicating that these families ate well and had “a sophistication not usually associated with the Bronze Age,” the BBC writes. 

Bonus find: Medieval fish trap

Every day, we highlight one newly lost or found object, curiosity or wonder. Discover something unusual or amazing? Tell us about it! Send your finds to sarah.laskow@atlasobscura.com.