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21 September 2003
Plea to walkers over relics

A Cumbrian museum has urged hill walkers to leave Neolithic relics where they find them on the fells. Stone axes are often found on Lake District (England) scree slopes, and the Tullie House Museum in Carlisle is showing people how to recognise them, enjoy them but not to take them home.
     As part of a National Heritage Open Days scheme the Tullie House is allowing people to handle 5000-year-old stone axes from its collection. Many in the collection were picked up by hill walkers and given to the museum.  
     Now the Tullie staff say the walkers should  be considerate and leave the axes where they find them. That way more people can enjoy the sense of discovery, touching them and then leave them for others to have the same experience. In the Mediaeval period it was believed the axes had fallen from the sky and caused thunder; they were also considered lucky charms or that they could reduce pain in childbirth.

Source: BBC News (14 September 2003)

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