Sites & cities that bear the name of Sweet Track

Sweet Track

Today in : United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
First trace of activity : 3,807 B.C.E
Last trace of activity : 3,797 B.C.E

Description : The Sweet Track is an ancient trackway, or causeway, in the Somerset Levels, England, named after its finder, Ray Sweet. It was built in 3807 BC and is the second-oldest timber trackway discovered in the British Isles, dating to the Neolithic. It is now known that the Sweet Track was predominantly built along the course of an earlier structure, the Post Track. The track extended across the now largely drained marsh between what was then an island at Westhay and a ridge of high ground at Shapwick, a distance close to 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) or around 1.2 miles. The track is one of a network that once crossed the Somerset Levels. Various artifacts and prehistoric finds, including a jadeitite ceremonial axe head, have been found in the peat bogs along its length. Dendrochronology (tree-ring dating) of the timbers has enabled precise dating of the track, showing it was built in 3807 BC. This dating led to claims that the Sweet Track was the oldest roadway in the world, until the discovery in 2009 of a 6,000-year-old trackway built in 4100 BC, in Plumstead, near Belmarsh prison. Analysis of the Sweet Track's timbers has aided research into Neolithic Era dendrochronology; comparisons with wood from the River Trent and a submerged forest at Stolford enabled a fuller mapping of the rings, and their relationship with the climate of the period.

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