Glastonbury Lake Village
|Glastonbury Lake Village|
Site of Glastonbury Lake Village
|Website||reference Megalithic Portal|
Glastonbury Lake Village was an iron age village on the Somerset Levels near Godney, some 3 miles (5 km) north west of Glastonbury, Somerset, England. It has been designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument (No: 194156) and covers an area of 400 feet (122 m) north to south by 300 feet (91 m) east to west.
The village was built in about 300BC and occupied into the early Roman period (around 100AD) when it was abandoned, possibly due to a rise in the water level. It was built on a morass on an artificial foundation of timber filled with brushwood, bracken, rubble and clay.
The village housed around 100 people in five to seven groups of houses, each for an extended family, with sheds and barns, made of hazel and willow covered with reeds, and surrounded either permanently or at certain times by a wooden palisade. At its maximum it may have had 15 houses with a population of up to 200 people.
The village was close to the old course of the River Brue.
The lake village, a 'crannog' or man made island, was discovered in 1892 by Arthur Bulleid a local medical student, and son of a local mayor and the founder of the Glastonbury Antiquarian Society. The excavation of the area was started in 1897. It found timber remains of the village. Much of the timber was reburied as the best way of preserving it, and a survey in 2005 found this to have been quite successful, despite reports warning of the area drying out and the peat coverage being reduced.
The artefacts recovered include fragments of pottery, charcoal, bone and a whetstone (a stone for sharpening blades). Later, on excavation, spinning whorls and weaving combs were found, suggesting textile production. Evidence of bronze-casting and iron-smelting were found. Fine jewellery made from bronze bone have also been found showing a high degree of craftsmanship.
Files and hammer heads were examined by metallography which showed that carbon compositions were found to be generally low.
The site yielded a number of wooden objects preserved in the peaty soil including five wheel spokes and an unfinished nave.
Woven baskets recovered from the site provided evidence of woven baskets up to 700 mm in width and 480 mm in height.
Representations of the houses have been recreated at the nearby Peat Moors Centre.
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