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Published: 8/11/2010

Oldest home site in Britain found by archaeologists

ASSOCIATED PRESS

LONDON - Archaeologists have uncovered the site of Britain's oldest house, the waterside home of nomad hunters dating back about 11,000 years.

The dwelling, which has lake views, a thatched roof, and very original features, predates the country's famous Stonehenge monument by around 6,000 years and was built at a time when Britain was still connected to continental Europe.

Teams from the University of York and the University of Manchester working at the site believe the circular-shaped home was built about 8,500 B.C. next to an ancient lake at Star Carr, near Scarborough, in northeastern England.

"This is a sensational discovery and tells us so much about the people who lived at this time," Nicky Milner from the University of York said Wednesday.

Discoveries made at the site suggest the house was about 11 feet, 6 inches wide and constructed of timber post. It likely had a roof of thatched reeds.

"This changes our ideas of the lives of the first settlers to move back into Britain after the end of the last Ice Age. We used to think they moved around a lot and left little evidence. Now we know they built large structures and were very attached to particular places in the landscape," said Chantal Conneller, an archaeologist at the University of Manchester.

Artifacts found at the site, which include part of an oar, arrow tips, and deer skulls, offer clues to the settlers' lives. It's thought they kept domestic dogs, hunted deer, wild boar, and elk, and fished.



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