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Two years ago, a rambler stumbled over some fragments of flint sticking out of the cliff edge.
That discovery led a team of archaeologists
to unearth the remains of a wooden house.
Painstaking work led them to believe they were the remains of a Stone Age settlement.
Now the same archaeologists, joined by Alice Roberts, are back to test their theory
and recreate what they believe is Britain's first house.
This project is something really special to me -
the chance to recreate a Stone Age structure
on its original site from 10,000 years ago.
Discovering how to build the house should give us an insight into an ancient world,
which is otherwise hard to imagine.
After more than two years of research,
Dr Clive Waddington believes that this house will change our understanding
of how Stone Age hunter-gatherers lived.
This is the earliest evidence we have
of a dwelling structure in this part of Britain.
It's the earliest evidence of people here.
Why are you recreating it?
It's giving us a chance to understand what we excavated
and put that into practice to see what it was like as a built structure and whether it works.
So we're testing our interpretation of the excavated evidence.
So how do you know the structure was like this?
When we were excavating, we found charred circles in the ground where the posts had stood.
And on the outside of the hut, just round the edge,
we found these stake holes which were angled towards the apex of the roof.
We can measure from the angles of those stake holes what the pitch was.
They were around 65 degrees, which made for a really steep roof.
There's this idea of Stone Age people being pretty backward,
living in caves - Flintstones.
They are people and no less intelligent than we are.
It was just a different technology. They might have been more ingenious, living on the edge.
-There's all these skills we've lost.
-Making the string.
This is a really robust construction
and stands in stark contrast to the traditional idea
of Mesolithic people building only temporary and relatively flimsy shelters.
With the build complete,
Clive has one more piece of evidence that points to this
being a permanent dwelling for Stone Age hunter-gatherers.
We found a series of hearths in the centre of the building
and there was a succession of them, the latest ones at the top and earliest ones at the bottom,
and we found hazelnuts inside each of these hearths.
Hazelnuts only live for one year
so we did all our carbon dates on hazelnuts
and they've allowed us to date the different phases of occupation
-and how long the hut was occupied for.
-So how long was it occupied?
The hut was occupied for somewhere in the region of 200 years.
Several generations - many lifetimes, in fact.
And it's that that makes this house so special.
The proof that it was occupied
for over 200 years
has forced people to revise their theories
about our Stone Age ancestors 10,000 years ago.
Rather than being nomadic, as was previously believed,
these people were building complex houses like this one
and calling them home.
Subtitles by BBC Broadcast - 2005
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