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The remains of buildings that can be dated back to the 17th century have been unearthed on the banks of the Tyne at the site of the former Brett Oils depot in Gateshead.


Construction of two apartment blocks is currently ongoing, according to the BBC, but disruption will no doubt have been caused by this new discovery, which also includes the foundations of a 19th century iron foundry and glassworks.

Durham University Archaeological Services’ Peter Carne explained that this part of Gateshead once served as the heartland for local industry during the 19th century, with glassmaking employing around 500 people by the mid-1800s.

“People lived and worked in this area before the big factories were built, probably since the medieval period, engaged in all sorts of small scale-industries and occupations, reflected in the small buildings uncovered, separated by alleyways leading from the street down to the river,” he observed.

Of course, this isn’t the only time such a discovery has been made while construction work has been taking place. Last year, workers in the Massachusetts town of Northampton discovered spearheads and stone tools that could be dated as far back as 8,000 to 10,000 years, with an archaeological dig later finding knives, raspberry and acorn seeds, and fire pits.

And back in 2018, road workers in Cambridge found the remains of an ancient woolly mammoth thought to be an impressive 130,000 years old, as well as some remains of a woolly rhino.

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