1200 800 bc

Archaeologists uncover 'best preserved' Bronze Age houses

An archaeological dig in Cambridgeshire has unearthed the “best preserved Bronze Age dwellings ever found in Britain”, experts say. Large circular wooden houses built on stilts above water, dating between 1200-800 BC, were uncovered at Must Farm quarry in Whittlesey, East Anglia.

The roof of one of the round houses was charred, suggesting a fire forced the inhabitants out of the settlement to leave their belongings behind in haste. The hamlet is then thought to have collapsed into the water below before being buried in silt.

Archaeologists say the find is unique due to the near-perfect preservation of organic material such as wood and textile. Pots with meals inside and finely woven clothing were found, as well as “exotic” glass beads from a necklace, hinting at a sophistication not usually associated with the Bronze Age. Read more.

Hallstatt Bronze Diadem, c. 1100 BC

The four large, carefully crafted spirals on this bronze diadem exemplify a simple design element popularized during the European Bronze Age (1200–800 BC). The spiral motif typically appeared as an embellishment on jewelry and other objects of personal adornment. This ornate diadem, likely the possession of a person of wealth and prominence, effectively conveyed the status of the owner. Years of burial have lent a rich, green patina to the original golden-brown surface of the diadem. This object was most likely found buried among similar pieces of bronze jewelry and bronze weapons in a grave at the Austrian site of Hallstatt.