Station: [240] Finds in Wells

Finds from prehistoric wells are always exciting. They often include every day objects that can expand our knowledge about the materials and techniques that were actually in use during this period. Generally speaking, dry settlements pits and graves contain mostly only inorganic material such as stone and pottery,or, in lime-rich soils- , the remains of bones may have survived the ravages of time.   The situation in the wells is quite different: the lower props generally lie four to five metres deep, which is below ground water level.  This is a permanently damp, oxygen-deprived environment, also ideal for preserving organic matter.

The Eythra well contained a vessel made of bark, sewn together with twined bast fibre.  It was presumably used for hauling water.  The bent handle was made of willow, with a drop line tied to it. The decorated ceramic bottle was also used for fetching water. You can see what remains of the line still tied around its neck.  Two holes in the vessel have been carefully patched up using birch bark and tar.  A neck vertebra from a young cow or bull also didn’t fall in the well by chance – the marks on its inner side reveal that it was used as a pulley for the well rope.