Archaeologists diving at a site on the Isle of Wight, just off the south coast of England, have found the remains of a wooden platform dating back 8,000 years. If, as researchers believe, it was used to build log boats, the site would be the oldest known boat-building site in the world.
“As a feature by itself it’s quite incredible,” Garry Momber, director of the Maritime Archaeological Trust, the non-profit in charge of the excavations explains. “This is the most cohesive, intact structure from the Middle Stone Age ever recovered in the United Kingdom.”
Not everyone, however, believes the platforms were used for building boats. “Whilst I love the idea that this is the oldest boat-building site in the world (which chimes so well with the maritime heritage of the Isle of Wight), I would be tentative of making this claim from the wooden timbers discovered,” archaeologist Helen Farr of the University of Southampton says. “However, a platform or walkway would fit with what I would expect from other known sites of this age.”