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Archaeologists find Mesolithic man settled in Liverpool

by Lauren Riley. Published Wed 21 Nov 2012 17:05

A discovery made near Liverpool re-writes the history books on stone age man, showing that he settled in a single area, much earlier than previously believed.

Researchers have uncovered a site that shows that mesolithic families lived in a fixed settlement on the coast north of the city in a period when it was thought they were nomadic.

A discovery of three structures - thought to be houses - on Lunt Meadows in Sefton, just outside Liverpool, suggests that the families liked it so much that they settled down there.

Worked flints and charred timber were also found by archaeologists who are still working on the site, which was discovered this summer during work for the Environment Agency.

The materials found at the site indicate a settlement of people with some of the material coming from as far afield as North Wales or possibly Derbyshire.

Preliminary carbon-dating results suggested that the site is almost 8,000 years old, dating back to 5,800 BC, making the families the original scousers.

Environment Agency consultant archaeologist and curator of prehistoric archaeology at Liverpool Museum Ron Cowell said: "This find is fascinating, it's far way above in importance that I have worked with in more than 30 years of archaeology.

"It's going to help give us a much better understanding of this period.

"These findings show that these people lived at this site for the greater part of their lives, which is fascinating.

"This is about the time when Britain is becoming an island so these are the first native people of Britain as an island, let alone being the original scousers!

"It all began here, with these people living in such an alien way to what we are used to, being totally reliant on nature."

The discoveries were made as archaeologists and enivormentalist were restoring the farmland as a wetland wildlife haven, which would have provided food to early man.

Liverpool comedian Stan Boardman said: "These people were the original scousers and it comes as no surprise that they wanted to stay as soon as they arrived.

"Merseyside is a fantastic place and they must have found it so good that they decided to set up camp here.

"People have bee settling down here ever since. It's an amazing place to live and these stone age people knew that thousands of years ago.

"Cave men could get fish from the Mersey then head up to Norris Green and get some sheep and cows...what more could you want?!"

The Lunt Meadows project is already seeing the benefits of increased numbers and types of wildlife with whooper swans sighted on the pools and a number of other species starting to make use of the newly created habitats.

It is due to be completed in the first half of 2013 and will be managed by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust.

The archaeological artefacts found on site will be catalogued and kept for safe keeping by Liverpool Museum.

Lindsay Ward Environment Agency Biodiversity Officer responsible for the project, said: "This discovery is a bonus, but more importantly it is evidence that this site was a true wetland some 8000 years ago.

"This shows that all the effort of planting close to 50,000 locally sourced reeds, and developing the wetlands here is worthwhile and will fit perfectly into the landscape to be enjoyed by wildlife and people for many generations to come just as it was all those years ago."



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