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Meare Lake Village

Nature volume 142, page 606 (01 October 1938) | Download Citation



THE three habitations (Nos. xx, xxii and xxiv), which have been examined by Mr. H. St. George Gray and Dr. Arthur Bulleid in the course of the current season's investigation of the eastern division of Meare Lake Village, Somerset, by the character of the finds, more particularly those in hut No. xxii, have emphasized both the importance of the weaving industry in the economy of the inhabitants, and their appreciation of personal ornament of a colourful type. In hut xxii, in which five superimposed hearths of stone and clay have been uncovered, no fewer than twelve combs for beating down the weft and woof threads have been found, with bobbins, loom weights and a dozen spindle-whorls of stone, bone or baked clay. Among other finds were half a dozen saddle querns, hammer-stones and whetstones, a polished flint axe converted into a hammer, flint scrapers, bone awls and modelling tools, iron tools, bone gouges and handles and other objects of red and roe-deer antler, including a 'gaming piece'. A scapula, or shoulder-blade of ox, is ornamented with the dot-and-circle pattern. By far the largest series of remains, however, it is stated in a report on the excavations in The Times of September 16, may be classed as personal ornaments. These include two toggles or dress-fasteners, one finely engraved with four rows of dot-and-circles, the other of a zoomorphic character, having one end resembling the head of a fish. A remarkable large flat brooch is of bronze, of which the surface was probably inlaid with enamel. The finest of the armlets of Kimmeridge shale is carved, while jet appears in the village for the first time in the form of a bead. Another bead of amber has been found, and beads of glass are numerous, the colours being blue, dark red, yellow and black. Some of the beads of clear glass ornamented with yellow spirals were found in a group. The smallest beads (blue) are only two millimetres in diameter. Canine teeth of the dog had been pierced for suspension as a necklace. In hut xxii more pottery, mostly cooking wares, has been found than in any other dwelling.

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