|29 June 2014
Mesolithic settlement found in north of England
Archaeologists were stunned to discover evidence of a Mesolithic settlement alongside the A1, which stretches 670 kilometres from London to Edinburgh, suggesting the route may have been in use for 10,000 years.
The site, near Catterick in North Yorkshire, is believed to have been used by people travelling north and south as an overnight shelter. Items discovered at the settlement include flint tools that date back to between 6000 and 8000 BCE.
This rare discovery came during the excavation of known Roman settlements in advance of plans to upgrade road junctions. Archaeologists are excavating all the ancient monuments before they become less accessible. They are focusing on a Roman town called Cataractonium, located by the road, near to the River Swale.
Archaeologist Steve Sherlock said: "It was fascinating to find one of those was a Mesolithic site, a further 8,000 years into the past beyond the Romans. We found a small structure that resembled a type of shelter where they were making the flint tools that were also present at the site."
Mr Sherlock added: "This was a place that people knew of - a place they could return to on many occasions to stay overnight during their travels. There is evidence of people using the route and moving through the area over periods of time. It is also adding to our knowledge of the early Mesolithic period, a time we don't know very much about."
Edited from Archaeology News Network (June 2014)
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