The largest and best-preserved Bronze Age wheel ever to be found in Britain has been unearthed by researchers from the University of Cambridge.
The new discovery, made at Must Farm close to Peterborough in the UK, is the earliest of its kind to be found in the UK. And it’s exceptionally well preserved: So well preserved, in fact, that it still contains its hub.
The discovery of the wheel — which is 1m in diameter — may change the way we think about the way Bronze Age people lived. Kasia Gdaniec, Senior Archaeologist for Cambridgeshire County Council, explained:
[T]his site continues to amaze and astonish us with its insight into prehistoric life, the latest being the discovery of this wooden wheel. Believed to be the most complete example yet found from this period, this wheel poses a challenge to our understanding of both Late Bronze Age technological skill and, together with the eight boats recovered from the same river in 2011, transportation.
The find is one of many made at the site, which has in the past provided a glimpse into Bronze Age dwellings, with a series of circular wooden houses lurking beneath the soil.
It’s not the oldest wheel ever found in the UK. One dating back to 1300 BC has been found before, but it was incomplete. Which, you could rightly argue, no longer makes it a wheel.
Images by Cambridge Archaeological Unit