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Excavation of islands around Britain to establish origins of Neolithic period

Archaeologists at the University of Liverpool are investigating three island groups around Britain to further understanding of why, in approximately 4,000 BC, humans altered their lifestyle from hunting and gathering to farming the land.
Some scholars believe that this change occurred due to colonists from the continent moving into Britain, bringing farming and pottery-making skills with them, but others argue that the indigenous population of Britain adopted this new lifestyle gradually on their own terms.
To shed new light on the debate, archaeologists, in collaboration with the University of Southampton, are excavating three island groups in the western seaways and producing oceanographic models to understand what sailing across this area would have been like in 4,000 BC. The team will also construct a database of 5th and 4th millennium occupation sites.

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Kilwinning dig unearths 5000-year-old arrow head

An arrowhead dating back to 3500 BC is the latest find during the second week of the Kilwinning archaeological dig.
Archaeologists on site believe the flint leaf arrowhead dates from early Neolithic 3500 BC.

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'Britain's first pre-Roman planned town' found near Reading

Archaeologists believe they have found the first pre-Roman planned town discovered in Britain.
It has been unearthed beneath the Roman town of Silchester or Calleva Atrebatum near modern Reading.
The Romans are often credited with bringing civilisation to Britain - including town planning.
But excavations have shown evidence of an Iron Age town built on a grid and signs inhabitants had access to imported wine and olive oil.
Prof Mike Fulford, an archaeologist at the University of Reading, said the people of Iron Age Silchester appear to have adopted an urbanised 'Roman' way of living, long before the Romans arrived.

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Stone Age relics may be hidden in Western Isles' seas

Submerged sites of ancient communities could be hidden in the seas around the Western Isles, according to experts.
Dr Jonathan Benjamin and Dr Andrew Bicket believe the islands' long and sheltered lochs have protected 9,000-year-old Mesolithic relics.
Rising sea levels may have covered up to 10km of land on the west coast of the Outer Hebrides.

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Somerset was the site of the UK's oldest open-air cemetery, the county council says.
Recent radiocarbon dating of two skulls found at a sand quarry in Greylake nature reserve near Middlezoy in 1928 revealed them to be 10,000 years old.
The council said the find was made under its Lost Islands of Somerset project by a team investigating the archaeology of the Somerset Levels.
Since their discovery, the skulls have been held at Bridgwater's Blake Museum.
The new findings show that by around 8,300 BC, hunter-gatherers were burying their dead on what was once an island amid the Levels.

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University of York Archaeology students have unearthed a rare Bronze Age cremation urn during excavations on the University's Heslington East campus.
The collared urn containing a cremation burial, together with a further cremation without a pot, was found by students from the Department of Archaeology on the Heslington East expansion in May.
This rare find, which dates back around 4,000 years, was found when the roundabout at Heslington East was being built.

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Archaeologists unearth Britain's 'first building boom'

Researchers have developed a new dating technique that has given the first detailed picture of the emergence of an agricultural way of life in Britain more than 5,000 years ago.
A new analysis of artefacts recovered from the first monuments built in Britain shows that the Neolithic period had a slow start followed by a rapid growth in trade and technology.

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A neolithic arrowhead dug up in Sanderstead has been donated to the Croydon Natural History and Scientific Society museum.
The archaeological artefact was found by Arthur Searle on Essenden Road in the early 1960s. His children Tony Searle and Cindy Hall have just donated the ancient arrowhead to the museum.

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The body of a girl thought to have been murdered by Roman soldiers has been discovered in north Kent.
Archaeologists working on the site of a Roman settlement near the A2 uncovered the girl who died almost 2,000 years ago.

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Inverness campus site's Bronze Age past revealed

Evidence of Bronze and Iron Age settlements have been found on the site of the proposed new Inverness Campus (Highland, Scotland). The remains of timber-built roundhouses and crop marks have been recorded at East Beechwood. Archaeologists have also uncovered a flint flake and fragments of prehistoric pottery, including Neolithic grooved ware.
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