London, July 14 (ANI): A prehistoric dwelling, which is 3,000 years older than Stonehenge, has been unearthed during construction of the runway extension at Isle of Man Airport.
According to Isle of Man newspapers, dating back an astonishing 8,000 years to the time when the first human settlers returned to the Isle of Man after the end of the Ice Age, it is probably the oldest dwelling ever found in the Island.
Featuring the foundations of a strongly-built shelter, filled and surrounded by thousands of pieces of worked flint, the charred remains of wood, and hundreds of hazelnut shells, the major archaeological find is certain to make headlines around the world.
It has been unearthed as fieldwork at Ronaldsway nears completion, with diggers due to finish excavating in the middle of this month and the project on schedule to be completed by the end of the year.
The site has already attracted interest from a BBC team filming the next series of Coast, and has recently been visited by Professor of Archaeology Peter Woodman, who excavated a similar, but less well-preserved, site eroding out of the cliffs just over 100 metres away in the 1980s.
“Archaeologists hesitate to call a structure of this kind a “house”, because the received wisdom is that 8,000 years ago people constantly moved through the landscape as nomads, gathering their food from the land, rather than staying put and farming and harvesting it,” said Manx National Heritage field archaeologist Andrew Johnson.
“But this building was constructed from substantial pieces of timber, and had a hearth for cooking and warmth,” he said.
“Its occupants lived here often, or long enough to leave behind over 12,000 pieces of worked flint together with the tools needed to flake them, and food debris in the form of hundreds of hazelnut shells,” he added.
The 8,000-year-old dwelling was found at the east end of the airport where a new taxiway extension is being built.
Radiocarbon dates have not yet been obtained but archaeologists confirm that it is ‘probably’ the oldest dwelling yet found on the Isle of Man.
According to Johnson, “This is by far the largest archaeological project to have been undertaken on the Island. The discoveries have been first-class and are sure to revise and improve understanding of prehistoric life in the Isle of Man.” (ANI)