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Recent Excavation at Meare, Somerset

Nature volume 140, page 498 (18 September 1937) | Download Citation



A FORTNIGHT'S work of excavation at Meare Lake Village by Mr. H. St. George Gray and Dr. A. H. Bulleid has brought to light an interesting variant in the method of constructing their dwellings employed by the inhabitants. The season's work, as already indicated (see NATURE, Aug. 28, p. 352), is directed to the investigation of the central portion of the eastern half of the village. Excavation of the area surrounding Dwelling Mounds Nos. 16, 17 and 19, which, it is reported in The Times of September 13, has now reached the southern half of the floors of the circular dwellings, has shown that there are at least two floors, or layers of clay, separated by a quantity of ash, black earth and refuse deposited during the occupation. The peat in this part of the village is so firm that the usual timber foundations for the support of the clay floors appear to have been unnecessary. In the area surrounding the dwellings the refuse from the huts is found to contain a considerable amount of ornamented pottery (Iron Age "B") and evidence of weaving in the form of loom weights, spindle whorls and bobbins. Portions of bone needles also have been found. In the occupational refuse between the clay floors, the proportion of bones and pottery sherds found to the area at present examined is unusually high. The bones are mostly of lamb and young oxen, but there are also the remains of a small horse, pig and dog, a few bones of red and roe deer and also of birds. Here there is further evidence of weaving-spindle whorls of baked clay, stone and tin, bobbins, etc., as well as a highly polished bone needle and two bone pins with mouldings and long slots of a type unusual in western Britain. Objects of iron are not plentiful, but include a butcher's knife with convex edge. In bronze are a couple of fibulse, an openwork harness ornament, and a hinge—plate with rivet holes. The ornaments include shale bracelets, and among the beads is one of blue, strung on a bronze wire.

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