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20 September 2004
Bronze Age sauna may sink plans for tourism

The remains of a sauna used by Bronze Age people living in the Birmingham area (England) is set to scupper a multi-million pound marina project for the city. The "hot tub" threat emerged as planners investigated possible sites for the big money tourism scheme. Planners have identified the location as the only place in the city with the potential to be turned into a marina. But the area includes the sauna suite beside the Chinn Brook known as the Bayston Road Burnt Mound.
     Dating to between 1500 and 1000 BCE, it is thought to be the debris from heated stones used as saunas by Bronze Age people within the shelter of willow structures. "This site proves that Bronze Age Brummies were far more sophisticated than we gave them credit for," Coun Peter Douglas Osborn told city planners. "You can tell it was a sauna because of all the round stones on the site. They used it for recreation." Councillors want a proper archaeological excavation to uncover other historical clues.

Source: icBirmingham.co.uk (14 September 2004)

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