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25 November 2004
Flint found in Gloucestershire

President of the Forest of Dean Archaeology Group, Dr Alf Webb got more than he bargained for while out on a mission to get a photograph for his new book. The 80-year-old archaeological expert, who is writing a book about the archaeology of the Dean, came across what he is certain is a spearhead from the Solutrean period which dates back to 18,000 BCE.
     If he is correct, the history of the Forest (Gloucestershire, England) will have to be re-written because up until now, archaeologists have dated man's first movements in the Dean and Wye Valley to 10,000 BCE with the oldest archaeological evidence being the Stone Age remains found in the Wye Valley at King Arthur's cave.
     Dr Webb of Bathurst Park Road explained his once-in-a-lifetime find: "I've been trying to get material together for a new book on the prehistoric Dean and the last thing I expected was to find a Solutrean spearhead, I was just looking for a decent photo!" The archaeological expert was walking on the Offa's Dyke path near Woodcroft when he stumbled across the spearhead which was sticking up from the mud. "A walker had been cleaning their boot off on the lower rung of the stile and the exquisite bit of flint was sticking out of the mud, I thought it was a leaf," he said.
     Now Dr Webb is trying to contact Dr Nick Barton, lecturer in Paleolithic archaeology at Oxford University, in the hope that he will confirm that the spearhead is from the Solutrean period.

This is Gloucestershire, The Citizen (23 November 2004)

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