| 5 August 1998
3,300-year-old Log-Boat recovered (Shardlow - England)
Archaeologists have recovered a log-boat, probably dating from the middle Bronze Age (circa 1300 BC), still carrying some of its cargo of quarried stone. The ten metre long oak boat was exposed at Shardlow quarry, near Derby by recent floods on the nearby River Trent.
At first quarry workmen thought the boat, lying on its side in a three metre deep gully, was the trunk of an oak tree but further flooding washed away the surrounding silt to expose the find. This was confirmed as a boat by local archaeologist.
Five large blocks (up to a metre across) of Bromsgrove sand stone were found in the boat, with others spilled alongside. They were believed to have been quarried from a sandstone outcrop situated two kilometres up river. Originally the bow and the stern were missing but the bow has now been located.
Its location, buried in the bed of a former side channel of the River Trent, suggests three possible scenarios:
@. It was being used for taking stones from the outcrop up river to strengthen a stone and timber platform built across the side channel. Some 250-300 oak posts have been found driven into the bed of the channel as evidence of this platform or causeway
a. It was transporting stone robbed from the platform for building elsewhere
b. The boat was deliberately rammed full of large blocks of stone in order to sink it as a gift to the gods
The boat will be cut into sections and moved to the quarry yard. Decisions on its final resting place have yet to be made.
Sources: ARC press release, Nottingham Evening Post
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