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Must Farm, UK; "Bronze Age Pompeii"
Topic Started: Feb 12 2016, 03:57 AM (406 Views)
Gregory J. Liebau
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http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-35492599

Re-posting this and hoping other contributions can be added. Let's bring back some of the threads that we can recall which had to be deleted after the recent spamming. I'm really fascinated by the finds at Must farm and am excited to learn more details about the excavations there.

Cheers!

-Gregory
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Matt Corbin
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This is a really cool find. Thanks for bringing this thread back.

Must Farm has been good enough to put a ton of information out. A huge change for those of us who usually follow Greek archeology. Their Facebook and Twitter pages have almost daily updates. And you don't even have to be a member...

https://twitter.com/mustfarm
https://www.facebook.com/MustFarmArchaeology/
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Edwin Deady
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With this phase of the excavations coming to the end and the wealth of information discovered for me the most striking thing is that how normal life was. People use what they have got, do what they have to do just as everybody live today does. I see no reason for this ever to have been different throughout human history.

Obvious, of course, but I think these discoveries mean that it is reasonable in other areas to supply basic domestic equipment in our imagining of what it was like. For example, the bare roundhouse reconstructions with earth floors, central hearth and a few sheepskins in partitions round the walls have to be developed. Rushes on the floor, dressers to hold pots, and somewhere to sit are surely a minimum.

Archaeologists have been too long influenced by, for example, African huts. Many of these are relatively bare inside but if in an established community this is probably because these huts were small and had specific functions. Sleep in one, cook in another etc, all in a much drier and warmer climate than Britain's. The only equivalent I know of could be Grimspound on Dartmoor but this might not have been a community within a stone kraal but have served some other function.

Star Carr and other sites are revising our view of the Mesolithic in a similar way as should the work of people like TC Lethbridge. He compared an excavated site of hunter-gatherers with that of a summer living residence of low arctic Inuit. Most of what they used was organic and they accumulated plenty of "stuff". Stuff that would be quickly eaten by wildlife and, more slowly, rot away leaving nothing but the few stone tools found in most prehistoric sites. Even year to year this would happen as some of the Inuit would remove the roofing of their summer dwellings in order for them to "sweeten" for the following year.
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Sean Manning
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Thanks for the report Edwin. Things which do not survive well in the ground are a problem for sure ... I read a book on the archaeology of one part of the Achaemenid empire which focused on metal and stone and did not even have a chapter on textiles and basketry and hide products. A farmer might get up from his wood-framed, rope-strapped bed with its linen and wool covers, eat breakfast from a wooden bowl with a horn spoon, load his donkey's carpetbags with wooden tools, and set out for the field while his wife weaved and dyed and his children wove baskets, now and then touching a bronze knife to cut fresh reeds ... but the cookpot, the dying vat, and the knife are the only things with much chance of being excavated.

British archaeologists are lucky that they have lots of wet, deoxygenated sites and plenty of resources for digging and publication.
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Edwin Deady
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Sadly our UK supply of wet sites is shrinking year by year with draining etc. Flag Fen and surroundings have been noted for this but Star Carr is vulnerable as are all those sites not yet discovered that nevet may be.
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