Eight superbly preserved Bronze Age log boats of international importance have been unveiled at Flag Fen in Peterborough.
The discovery makes the site one of the finest Bronze Age archaeological sites in Northern Europe, and is expected to boost tourism in the city.
Archaeologists from Cambridge uncovered the boats which date back to the Bronze Age whilst excavating Must Farm in Whittlesey, just two miles from the Flag Fen site.
Along with several other finds including pottery, weapons and tools the priceless artifacts give an incredible window into what life was like thousands of years ago.
Dr. Francis Pryor (pictured above) has been working at the site for over 40 years and told ESP the discovery of these items is proof that Flag Fen is of incredible historic importance and that there are more discoveries to come.
“I’m very excited by this, it’s proof, as I’ve always thought that the archaeology of the fens is the best preserved in all of Northern Europe. I would guess there are more than 10,000 boats still to be discovered.”
The boats are currently being preserved at Flag Fen using the same techniques pioneered for Henry the VIII’s warship The Mary Rose.
A special cold storage facility has been created for the boats costing £100,000 funded by a grant from English Heritage.
Sheila Smith chairman of Vivacity Peterborough Culture and Leisure told ESP that these discoveries are of such a scale that they will really raise the city’s profile.
“This is going to be hugely significant, archaeologists used to look to the Swiss lakes for finds like these now they’re going to be coming here. This is not only going to be of interest to historians and scientists, this is a profound story for Peterborough which could put itself on the map.”
During the treatment, the boats can be viewed through glass by visitors during regular guided tours and on special event days.
For more information visit www.vivacity-peterborough.com.
We’ll have a full report in the July of ESP out on June 29.
Photos: Dave Porter for ESP Magazine