Operation Nightingale veterans take part in Butser Ancient Farm Bronze Age home reconstruction

MILITARY veterans are part of a unique project to reconstruct a Bronze Age roundhouse at Butser Ancient Farm.

Sunday, 13th June 2021, 4:55 am
An artist’s impression of what the new roundhouse at Butser Ancient Farm will look like.

The archaeological footprint of the original structure was uncovered at Dunch Hill on Salisbury Plain and it will be reproduced by veterans from Operation Nightingale and archaeologists from the farm, using traditional Bronze Age tools and building techniques.

Military veterans from Operation Nightingale – an initiative set up to assist the recovery of wounded, injured and sick military personnel - are taking part at the farm, which is south of Petersfield.

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During the build, the Butser Ancient Farm team will be running workshops for the volunteers demonstrating skills such as axe making, pot making, twine and rope making, spinning and weaving and pit-firing pottery in the ground in Bronze Age fashion, alongside hunting and food preparation workshops.

Farm director Maureen Page, who is running the project, said: ‘This building will fill an important missing link in our historical timeline here at Butser Ancient Farm. What we will be building during this project is our interpretation of the evidence of a bronze age roundhouse that the Operation Nightingale team uncovered at Dunch Hill on Salisbury Plain last September.

‘Roundhouses appear to have been the dominant form of domestic architecture in Bronze Age Britain as they were in the later Iron Age.’

As the roundhouse build progresses, updates will be posted on Butser Ancient Farm’s new online platform, Butser Plus. It is due to be completed by the end of summer.

Richard Osgood archaeologist for Operation Nightingale added: ‘We’re really excited to be working with Butser Ancient Farm to help make their first Bronze Age building a reality. It has taken quite a long time to start this project after we did the excavation last summer because of all the lockdowns.

‘We have also needed to be able to get all the veterans together and actually make the post holes that we found on Salisbury Plain into something physical. So it’s really exciting, and months of fun now.’

Butser Ancient Farm is an experimental archaeology site and visitor attraction filled with reconstructions of buildings ranging from the late Stone Age to the Anglo-Saxon period.

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