A fabulously well-preserved Bronze Age wheel, which is considered to be the oldest and largest of its kind ever discovered on British soil was recently unearthed at a dig site called “Britain’s Pompeii” in eastern England.
Archaeologists believe that the stunning artifact is 3,000 years old, and they deemed it an ‘unprecedented’ finding. Britain’s Pompeii is a dig site hosting some of the country’s well-preserved artifacts from the Bronze Age.
Researchers who made the finding explained that the 3ft-wide wheel is so well preserved that it still has its hub. The team approximates that the artifact was crafted between 1,100 and 800 BC.
Researchers made the finding near one of the site’s largest ancient roundhouses to date. The settlement was partially unearthed in January. David Gibson, one of the researchers involved in the discovery and researcher with Cambridge Archaeological Unit, explained that the wheel is a clear link between inhabitants of a watery landscape and those living on the dry land.
One of the funders of the excavation, Historic England, said that the size and completeness of the artifact was unprecedented in archaeological terms. The group’s director Duncan Wilson said that never before have British archaeologists found such an old and complete wooden wheel.
Wilson added that the artifact could help historians better understand the technology available during the Late Bronze Age, and how people lived and worked more than 3,000 years ago.
The site where the wheel was found was described by archaeologists as ‘unique.’ “Britain’s Pompeii” has been a site full of surprises for years now as scientists were able to recently dig out three ancient roundhouses that are as old as the ancient wheel.
Researchers explained that the wooden frameworks have been preserved in silt after a huge fire. Kasia Gdaniec, one of the archaeologists working at the site, explained that the ‘fabulous artifacts’ found there are a permanent source of amazement and astonishment to researchers.
Gdaniec explained that the ancient wheel along with a set of ancient boats found in the same river bed five years ago changed scientists’ perspective on the Bronze Age technology for good. She added that the recently unearthed artifact represents a challenge to current knowledge.
Archaeologists speculate that the wheel belonged to a cart drawn by horses. They based their assumption on a horse spine they discovered near the wheel last month. But the research team said that it is far too early to draw final conclusions on how the artifact was actually used.
Image Source: Wikimedia