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UK's oldest town dates back 10,000 years

Posted on Sunday, 4 May, 2014 | Comment icon 8 comments

Amesbury dates back to 8,820 BC. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.5 Jeffrey Pfau
Amesbury in Wiltshire, the home of Stonehenge, has been revealed to be the oldest town in Britain.
Officially regarded as the birthplace of history in Britain, the town was founded more than 10 millennia ago by British settlers and has been occupied continuously since 8,820 BC.

The revelation helps to shed light on the origins of the neolithic monument Stonehenge which was once thought to have been a new build constructed in an otherwise empty landscape.

"The area was clearly a hub point for people to come to from many miles away, and in many ways was a forerunner for what later went on at Stonehenge itself," said researcher David Jacques. "The first monuments at Stonehenge were built by these people."

Archaeologists were able to determine the origins of Amesbury by using carbon dating techniques on a haul of animal bones, including wild boar and red deer, uncovered at a nearby dig site.

"We are naturally delighted at the confirmation of Amesbury's longevity as the oldest continuous inhabited place in England," said Amesbury History Centre spokesman Bill Dunn. "We have always known Amesbury as somewhere special and this confirms it."

Source: AOL Travel | Comments (8)

Tags: Amesbury, Stonehenge

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Troublehalf on 4 May, 2014, 19:17
Major problems with the article. Firstly, it claims Thatcham was the oldest continously inhabitated settlement based on the Guinness Book of Records. Yet it has long been disputed by Abingdon (now Abingdon-on-Thames) which also had claims to such a title. But, if the date of 8,820 BC is the date of continuous occupied town, then it blows both of them away. Since Abingdon was at least 4,000BC by way of a causeway (which was not discovered till 1991, a year after GBoR gave the claim to Thatcham and was not fully investigated by the time the award was given to Thatcham in 1993). However, even the... [More]
Comment icon #2 Posted by Paranomaly on 4 May, 2014, 20:32
Comment icon #3 Posted by paperdyer on 4 May, 2014, 22:15
If this is true, Stonehenge is more incredible.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Sir Wearer of Hats on 4 May, 2014, 22:27
Not a bad film, but I prefer Alien.
Comment icon #5 Posted by hammerclaw on 5 May, 2014, 3:32
So that's why they've never found the homes of the builders. They were right under their nose, alive and well, all this time.
Comment icon #6 Posted by woopypooky on 21 May, 2014, 14:56
Pyramid of Giza is oldest cos built 20,000 yrs ago. fullstop.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Silent Trinity on 1 June, 2014, 6:54
I'm glad someone else mentioned this as whilst I was reading I was thinking exactly this about Abingdon's claim, and how it is not even close to being the oldest inhabited settlement anymore if this is indeed true, which seems completely reasonable given the nature and importance of Stonehenge to the earliest inhabitants of our little island. Although the amount of money I spent on our house here in England last year I am starting to think my settlement is the oldest...

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