Saturday, December 04, 2004


4,000-year-old axe found on a beach by a 6-year-old boy

3 December 2004

When Jak MacDonald picked up a pebble on a beach, he had no idea he was holding an artefact shaped by a craftsman 4,000 years ago.

The six-year-old, from Broughton Astley (Leicestershire, England), stumbled upon a Neolithic axe head while on holiday in Pembrokeshire. Jak was looking for pebbles to skim in the sea when he came across the flat stone.

He was about to try it out when his mum's partner noticed the unusual shape. They took their discovery to Leicester's New Walk museum, where staff contacted Leicestershire's archaeological department.

Later, Jak found out his prized skimming stone was an axe head crafted before 2000 BCE.

Jak said: "It's a good job I didn't skim it. It would have gone for miles, but I'm glad I kept it. All the other stones were round but this one was really flat. I fell on the floor when mum told me what it was."

Wendy Scott, finds liaison officer for Leicestershire County Council, examined the axe head after it was sent to her from New Walk museum.

She said: "It just goes to show how easy it is to stumble across archaeology. I'm not 100 per cent sure, but it's the right shape for an axe head from the neolithic. It's probably made of a hard stone such as granite.

These small axes would have been for a range of activities, including chopping down trees."

Source: This is Leicestershire, Leicester Mercury (27 November 2004)

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