Cemex find Neolithic house in quarry

Building materials group Cemex, owners of the Rugby Cement brand, have found a 5000 year old house and other prehistoric items in a quarry in Berkshire.

Cemex find Neolithic house in quarry

Flint tools, arrowheads and a bronze-age pin have also been found at Cemex’s Kingsmead Quarry in Horton, Berkshire.

The rectangular Neolithic house was made from split logs and thatched roof and is one of only three such examples in the UK. Other finds at the site include 10,000 year-old flint tools, broken pottery, arrowheads from 2,000BC and a bronze age pin for a farmer’s cloak.

Cemex are funding the £5m archaeological study at the site, after which they will be investing £3.3m on site plant to process aggregates and manufacture concrete.

The single story house at Horton was rectangular, some 10 metres long by 5 metres wide. Dr Alistair Barclay of Wessex Archaeology said: ‘this house is not big by today’s standards. But it was a dramatically different from the tents that people had been living in before.’

The walls of the house were probably made of split logs and the pitched roof would have been of reeds or grass. Two partition walls either side of a central passage divided the house into two. These walls could have supported an upper story or attic in parts of the house.

There would not have been a chimney. Smoke would have seeped out through the roof which was high enough to avoid catching fire from sparks flying from the fire.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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