A 6,300 year old ‘eco home’ has been discovered in the English countryside.
It dates from at least 1,300 years before Stonehenge – between 4336BC to 4246BC – and was found very close to the site of the iconic stones, at Blick Mead near Amesbury, Wiltshire.
Academics have labelled it an ‘eco’ house due to the fact a tree has been used to create one of the walls – the fallen tree provided a wall that was lined with cobbles, with a post placed in the ground nearby to attach animal skins to create a roof.
Archaeologists believe the dwelling measured about five by three metres. The impressive structure included a sunken area where animal skins were cleaned and their clothing was made.
They even created an ingenious way to keep warm in winter, using hot stones they pre-heated in a hearth as a primitive form of central heating.
David Jacques, the project’s leader, told The Guardian:
Rather than seeing these people as making do with anything nature happens to throw up, a better way is that, environmentally, they are amazingly well attuned and have a skilful and sophisticated understanding of the landscape. They are adapting themselves around it.
Jacques added that the find represents a real paradigm shift in our knowledge of the historical period, saying: “It is suggesting that Stonehenge has got a back story and we have found a missing link to it.”
According to The Independent a cobbled path was also discovered, leading down to a spring where the Mesolithic people would leave ritual offerings.
Archaeologists have uncovered tens of thousands of objects that the Stone Age inhabitants placed at the site, including over 20,000 flint tools, a slate arrow head, a sandstone animal skin smoother and more than 2,400 animal bones.
Historic England, English Heritage and the National Trust released a joint statement on the site:
Our understanding of the site will no doubt be enhanced by the work recently undertaken by the University of Buckingham… We look forward to hearing more about this important Mesolithic site and seeing the full academic results when available.