Sunderland Bronze Age Settlement Uncovered
Archaeologists have described the finds of the Bronze Age community on the former Vaux Brewery site in the city centre as "significant".
The dig was carried out as part of pre-development work on the site . Robin Taylor-Wilson, project manager at the Durham branch of Pre-Construct Archaeology, said : "It was totally unexpected to find evidence of a hitherto unknown Bronze Age settlement here."
It was impossible to say its exact size at the moment, but Mr Taylor-Wilson said evidence suggested a wooden wall with houses inside it.
Archaeologists found pieces of pottery that would have been used as drinking vessels, flint used as tools and worked bone.
"One piece of bone looks a bit like a Polo and it is possible it was neck decoration or personal adornment, possibly a pendant."
Burnt and charred seeds were found on the site and were dated as coming from between 2,480 and 2,280 BC. The seeds were hazelnuts which could have formed part of an early Wearside diet, or perhaps be from natural or man-made forest fires along the riverside.
"The evidence that we have found shows that there was quite a sophisticated society on the banks of the Wear with some socio-economic activity and a social hierarchy. They are significant finds," said Mr Taylor-Wilson.
He said because of the landscape features, and being next to the river, the commanding spur of the Vaux site was an ideal place for pre-historic Britons.
complete story at Sunderland Today
Posted by Rhiannon
1st September 2004ce