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25 November 2013
Ancient mounds and a paddle discovered in Northumberland

Archaeologists working on the Bradford Kaims Wetland Heritage Project in Northumberland (Northeast England) have unearthed a series of hugely significant monuments forming a complex prehistoric landscape, with at least 12 burnt mounds and four small artificial islands. The site pre-dates any previous known burnt mound by over a thousand years, and doubles the known examples of burnt mounds in the region.
     Finds include worked flint and pottery, as well as an extremely early Carinated Bowl, characterised by its rounded base,┬áconcave neck, and flaring rim. The most spectacular find is a timber paddle that could date to the very beginning of the Neolithic period some 6,000 years ago; "the first such find of this date identified in Europe", according to Project Director Paul Gething.
     Well known across the majority of Britain and Ireland, prehistoric burnt mounds are large piles of burnt stones with a wide variety of possible uses that range from simple cooking to early brewing, sweat lodges, canoe building or early metal extraction.

Edited from Past Horizons (15 November 2013)

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