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31 May 2000
School children unearth rock art

Children have unearthed a unique find - possibly dating back 6,000 years - while carrying out an environmental project. Ashover Primary School pupils were helping to make a pond for a new wildlife area on part of their playing fields when they found two large gritstone boulders. And to the amazement of archaeologists, the boulders turned out to be pieces of rock art dating back to neolithic times. One of the rocks is inscribed with a cup and ring and the other has writing which has yet to be interpreted.
      John Barnett, a leading expert on Derbyshire's archaeology, said: "These are the best examples of this sort of prehistoric art in Derbyshire and unique to be found in the same place." Archaeologists believe the boulders prove there was a settlement in Ashover between 3,000 and 6,000 years ago.
      The children are being allowed to keep the rock art in their new garden once an archaeology team has recorded the prehistoric designs. The children now hope to raise cash to work with an environmental artist to create their own millennium-style rock art.
      Marisa Signora, Ashover's geography and environment teacher, said: "This is so exciting. The discovery of the art has made the project even more special. This is such a wonderful opportunity for the children to learn about the prehistoric past of Ashover. They are so proud because if it hadn't been for their ideas the rock art may have been lost forever."

Source: The Derbyshire Times (17 May 2000)

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