Three thousand years ago, the Egyptians were building the pyramids, but little is known about what was going on in Europe during this same time. Scholars have long believed that nothing nearly as advanced was happening in Britain. Could a new discovery prove historians wrong?
On the edge of Must Farm Quarry in an area southeast of Britain known as the Fens, archaeologists are uncovering the charred remains of a 3,000-year-old English settlement.
Secrets of the Dead: After Stonehenge, airing Wednesday, October 26 at 10 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), follows a team of archeologists, scientists, historians and specialists, as they shed new light on the ancient history of the western world. Perfectly preserved in mud, the prehistoric British Bronze Age Village – built at least one thousand years after Stonehenge – has been called the “British Pompeii.”
“The Pompeii analogy: it’s as if we’ve got a pristine settlement,” says Mark Knight, site director, Cambridge Archaeological Unit. “A pristine image of exactly what was going on within a settlement 3,000 years ago.”
Because the site is so delicate, the experts have been working in secret inside the quarry. But now they are rushing to complete their work and map the site before the land is returned for its owner’s use.
Have their findings forever changed what we know about life in Bronze Age Britain? What revelations about the villager’s lives can be gleaned from the cache of finds, unprecedented in number and quality, emerging from the marshy Fens?
“This is the crown jewels in terms of what it will tell us about past humanities and the way that people lived in this landscape 3,00o years ago,” says Knight after taking stock of the extraordinary findings. Has this English settlement rewritten Western history?
Secrets of the Dead: After Stonehenge is a production of 360 Production and THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET in association with ARTE France. Narrator: Jay O. Sanders. Producer/Director: Sarah Jobling. Executive Producer for 360 Production: Emma Parkins. Executive-in-Charge for WNET: Stephen Segaller. Executive Producer for WNET: Steve Burns. Supervising Producer for WNET: Stephanie Carter.
Secrets of the Dead: After Stonehenge premieres Wednesday, October 26 at 10 p.m. on PBS (check local listings).