After two years of work, British archaeologists finally uncovered a home of nomad hunters dating back about 11,000 years to 8,500 B.C. The house is up to 1,000 years older than a building previously believed to be the country's oldest home, is nearly 6,000 years older than Britain’s famous Stonehenge monument, and was built when the country was still connected to continental Europe
The circular shaped dwelling has lake views, a thatched roof and highly original features. It was built next to an ancient lake at Star Carr in northeastern England, a site that was first discovered in 1947 and thought to have been inhabited for 200 to 500 years.
The artifacts found at the site offer clues to the lives of the settlers such as keeping domestic dogs, hunting deer, wild boar and elk, fishing on the lake and used headdresses fashioned from animal skulls for rituals. The team also uncovered a 11,000-year-old tree trunk and found items on the bank of the ancient lake that could be the first evidence of carpentry in Europe.
"This is a sensational discovery and tells us so much about the people who lived at this time," said Nicky Milner from the University of York team that worked with the University of Manchester at the site. "From this excavation, we gain a vivid picture of how these people lived."
"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.
"It brings out the similarities and differences between modern life and the ancient past in a fascinating way, and will change our perceptions forever," said Science minister David Willetts.