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24 May 2013
Neolithic hut re-construction in Wiltshire

Old Sarum has been chosen as the site for the re-construction of three Neolithic huts, in an attempt to understand what they looked like and how they worked. Different construction techniques have been tried for the wall daub and roof thatching. Traditional daub, or 'cob' made by mixing clay based subsoil with sand, straw and water and then trampling it with oxen. The problem the project team faced was to adopt a different mindset from modern techniques, including the way the thatch was knotted and woven, rather than being tied down, as we would today.
     The design and size of huts has been based on remains found at the Durrington walls site, approximately 2 miles Northeast of Stonehenge, which are similar to others found at Skara Brae in Orkney. Luke Winter, the project leader, is quoted as saying "What makes the buildings interesting is that they were dated to about the same time as the large sarsen stones were being erected at Stonehenge. One of the theories is that they may have housed the people that were helping with construction of the monument".

Edited from BBC News (6 May 2013)

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