An unusual prehistoric settlement with 25 huge pits was discovered in Great Britain. This discovery surprised archaeologists, as no such large-scale Mesolithic sites had previously been known. The pits, found in Bedfordshire, date from 12,000 to 6,000 years ago and are of sacred significance.
According to a report from The Guardian, archaeologists from the London Archaeological Museum (Mola) are investigating this unique site. They note that the site is one of the most significant Mesolithic complexes in Britain. Usually the evidence for the life of prehistoric hunter-gatherers is limited to flint implements and the rare remains of carved animals. However, animal bones, including the remains of the bison, have been found in the Linmer pits, providing an important source of evidence.
Professor Joshua Pollard of the University of Southampton, an expert on the landscapes of Stonehenge and Avebury, describes the discovery as very exciting. He notes that there are other large and mysterious pits dug by hunter-gatherers in Britain, but the Linmer pits are striking for their number and the vast area they occupy.
The size of the pits is also impressive. Each is up to 5 meters wide and 1.85 meters deep, rounded in shape with steep sides, some widening to a wider base. Digging such huge pits would be an extraordinary feat.
Archaeologists wonder what these pits were used for. They consider theories of hunting or food storage unlikely, as the shape and size of the pits make such assumptions implausible. However, they note that the pits were lined in several straight lines up to 500 meters long and connected with former stream beds, indicating their sacred significance.
The discovery of the Linmer pits is an important step in the study of the Mesolithic period and the lives of prehistoric hunter-gatherers. Radiocarbon analysis has shown that the pits date from 7,700 to 8,500 years old. This makes this site incredibly significant, as there are very few Mesolithic sites in Britain that are this extensive.