Britain's first travellers found at the cradle of Stonehenge.Evidence recently discovered at the Blick Mead site in Amesbury has astounded archaeologists and yet again written another chapter in the history books of Mesolithic Britain.
Astonishingly a blunt tooth found at the site of Britain's first “ECO” house last Autumn, turned out to be that of a domesticated dog and whilst this in itself is not so unusual, when Durham University analysed the bone, they found that instead of it being a local animal to the area, it had in fact travelled more than 250 miles from York with its owner and more than 7000 years ago making this the earliest known traveller in Britain.
The discovery, in addition to beautifully crafted Flint tools found in 2011/2, a slate blade from West Wales and a piece of carved stone from the midlands (found in 2013) proves that this site, with its own constant temperature spring, wasn't just the place to live at the end of the last ice age, but was known by our ancestors widely across Britain. People were visiting Blick Mead time after time.
The Blick Mead team, led by David Jacques on behalf of the University of Buckingham have now found in excess of 35000 pieces of worked flint, over 3000 pieces of cooked bone, evidence of meals that included toad legs cooked salmon, trout and juniper berries, an “eco” home built around an uprooted tree and evidence of occupation since the end of the ice age, making it the oldest known continuous settlement in Britain.
The site itself sits alongside the A303, which is part of a government planned road improvement scheme. If approved, the government intend to bury the road at Stonehenge in a tunnel to prevent passing traffic being able to see the Stones, in hope that this improves the flow rate of vehicles to and from the West Country.
Andy Rhind-Tutt, Chairman of Amesbury Museum and Heritage Trust, who have part funded the latest investigations maintains that a tunnel will serve no tangible purpose, causing irreversible destruction of one of the Worlds greatest untouched landscapes and has been in lengthy discussions with highways England over alternative solutions that give a much wider solution to South Wiltshire's road networks returning Stonehenge and Blick Mead to a national park and freeing up the trunk roads around it to help local regeneration.
"This is without doubt one of the greatest national discoveries ever made in the Stonehenge landscape and as we edge closer towards a road improvement plan that could see a disastrous ineffective tunnel for the A303 destroy this site, I desperately hope Historic England and National Trust recognise what a key site this is and ensure that it’s protected and preserved so that we and future generations can continue to discover and understand the history of Stonehenge, a once Royal site and life in Britain at the Ice Age.”