Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Britain's Oldest House

For this post I am stepping out of the realms of palaeontology and evolutionary biology for a few half decent reasons. One of the reasons being that I have a news round-up to come and have not found the time, so I offer this teasing morsel. The main reason this story caught my eye was that the house was found right here in Yorkshire.

Near Scarborough, a 3.5 metre circular structure dating to 8,500 BC has been found, including a nearby wooden platform which is being claimed as the oldest example of carpentry in Europe. As though that were not enough, an 11,000 year old tree trunk has also been found, with bark intact. At this time Britain was still part of the European continent.

The occupants of the house were hunter-gatherers who will have settled there after the last ice age, showing that they were not as nomadic as previously thought, settling next to an ancient lake. The archaeologists state that it will have been rebuilt over time and many other houses will have been there. The settlers did not farm, but did keep dogs and burnt parts of the landscape to encourage grazing.

At 10,500 years old, this house pre-dates the creation of the universe if you are a young earth creationist......

For the BBC article, see here. For the Telegraph article, see here and see if you can spot the mistake.

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