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Ancient Bronze Age Wheel Discovered in UK's 'Pompeii' Near Peterborough

Feb 19, 2016 04:39 PM EST
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A Bronze Age wheel was recently found intact in river silt at a site in the U.K. that has been referred to as a 'Pompeii' of preserved life.
(Photo : Copyright Cambridge Archaeological Unit, photo by Dave Webb )

An ancient wheel, 3,000 years old and from the Bronze Age, was recently uncovered at a farm in the United Kingdom. The location itself has been called a kind of Pompeii of preserved activity from that time.

Archaeologists recently announced the find, the first and most sizable complete example of a wheel to be discovered in the U.K. Its discovery will allow us to glean more about early transportation and technologies. It also shows that people who lived there were able to get from the local watery area to dry terrain beyond a nearby river, according to a University of Cambridge release.

The area has been called Pompeii because its settlement of stilt-built wooden round houses fell into a river following a dramatic fire, so that much of it was preserved in river silt for later exploration.

The new wheel, made of wood, is perceived to be from 1100-800 B.C. and was preserved in silt. Its finding will expand our ideas of local residents' sophistication level at the time, Duncan Wilson with the organization Historic England, said in the release.

"Among the wealth of other fabulous artifacts and the new structural remains of round houses built over this river channel, this site continues to amaze and astonish us with its insight into prehistoric life, the latest being the discovery of this wooden wheel. Believed to be the most complete example yet found from this period, this wheel poses a challenge to our understanding of both Late Bronze Age technological skill and, together with the eight boats recovered from the same river in 2011, transportation," said Kasia Gdaniec, Senior Archaeologist for Cambridgeshire County Council, according to a statement from Historic England.

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-Follow Catherine on Twitter @TreesWhales

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