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26 November 2003
Second log boat found near Derby

A Bronze Age boat carved from a single oak log has been unearthed in a Derbyshire (England) quarry, only 1km away from the site of a similar discovery five years ago. Archaeologists believe that the nine-metre boat sank and had been covered by silt, resulting in a good state of preservation. The boat was discovered by University of Birmingham archaeologists at Shardlow Quarry, an area that used to be a channel into the River Trent. Dr David Barrett, Derbyshire County Council archaeologist, said: “We do not know how it sank and we believe that it dates back to between 1500 BCE and 1000 BCE, but that has yet to be confirmed. The log boat is similar to others found in the country. The discovery shows that the Trent flood plain was quite well used by people in that period.”
     The discovery was made in September during the course of a study carried out on behalf of the quarry’s owners, Hanson Aggregates, but news of the find has only recently been released. The planned access road that prompted the study will now be constructed along a different route. The Council and English Heritage have decided to re-bury the find to after recording details and taking photographs. “The latest boat is underwater to ensure it is preserved because it will dry out if it is exposed to the air,” says Barrett. “It has survived being buried for 3,500 years, so I’m sure it will be there for generations to come.” Its condition will be monitored and the boat will be excavated if it deteriorates.
     A similar boat was found nearby in 1998. This first find was excavated at a cost of almost £119,000, funded by the Hanson Environment Fund and the Derby Museum and Art Gallery, where it is now on display.

Source: Evening Telegraph (24 November 2003)

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