ARCHAEOLOGISTS have secured more than £1 million in funding to delve deeper into the history of Britain’s earliest surviving house discovered in North Yorkshire, writes Daniel Birch.

A team of archaeologists from the universities of York and Manchester helped unearth the house at Star Carr, a Stone Age site, near Scarborough, in 2010.

The wooden house, which is 3.5 metres wide, predates the house previously thought to be Britain's oldest house in Howick, Northumberland, by at least 500 years.

The Star Carr structure dates back to 9,000 BC when hunter-gatherers lived in Britain and the research team unearthed the circular building next to an ancient lake at the site.

Now the team of archaeologists from the University of York have won a £1.23million grant from the European Research Council to carry out more analysis of the house.

The grant will help fund three years of fieldwork involving 20 specialists followed by two years of research analysis.

In particular, the team will analyse human responses to environmental change between 10,000 and 8,000 BC at Star Carr.

Dr Nicky Milner, a senior lecturer in archaeology at the University of York, believes the research will help develop an understanding of hunter-gatherers during the period.

She said: “The hunter-gatherers who lived during this post-glacial period have been characterised as highly mobile, dispersed and living in small groups, and there is much debate as to how they adapted to global warming. Recent discoveries at the Early Mesolithic site of Star Carr, which lies on the shore of palaeo-Lake Flixton, offer a new picture; one in which hunter-gatherers move into a new territory but then settle down and invest time and effort into building huts and large scale wooden structures with evidence for occupation that spans hundreds of years”

Dr Milner said it was a necessity to find out about previous lives.

She said: “We know little about the lives of our ancestors who lived during the Preboreal – the postglacial period followed rapid climate change about 9600 BC – the last major global warming event on earth.”

Star Carr has been listed as a Scheduled Ancient Monument by English Heritage.