Britain's earliest house discovered in North Yorkshire

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Washington, Aug 11 (ANI): Universities of Manchester and York researchers have uncovered the earliest surviving house of Britain at a site in North Yorkshire.

The house dates to at least 8,500 BC - when Britain was part of continental Europe.

The research team unearthed the 3.5 metres circular structure next to an ancient lake at Star Carr. The team are currently excavating a large wooden platform next to the lake, made of timbers, which have been split and hewn. The platform is the earliest evidence of carpentry in Europe.

They have also found a large tree trunk, which is 11,000 years old but still well preserved with its bark still intact.

"This exciting discovery marries world-class research with the lives of our ancestors," said David Willetts.

"It brings out the similarities and differences between modern life and the ancient past in a fascinating way, and will change our perceptions for ever," he added.

The site was inhabited by hunter-gatherers from just after the last ice age, for a period of between 200 and 500 years. Though they did not cultivate the land, the inhabitants did burn part of the landscape to encourage animals to eat shoots and they also kept domesticated dogs.

"The platform is made of hewn and split timbers; the earliest evidence of this type of carpentry in Europe. And the artefacts of antler, particularly the antler head-dresses, are intriguing as they suggest ritual activities," said Dr Nicky Milner.

English Heritage recently entered into a management agreement with the farmers who own the land at Star Carr to help protect the archaeological remains.

"A new excavation currently underway will tell us more about heir state of preservation and will help us decide whether a arger scale dig is necessary to recover information before it is ost for ever," said Keith Emerick, English Heritage Inspector of ncient Monuments. (ANI)

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