| 5 November 2006
Stone Age man was at sewage site in Berkshire
Ten thousand-year-old remains have been unearthed at a sewage works near Kintbury (Berkshire, England). The Stone Age flintwork, which dates back to 8000 BCE, has been found along with Bronze and Iron Age artefacts. The items were discovered during a survey undertaken by Thames Water before they embarked on renovations to the sewage works.
The flint, which would have been used for making tools, dates back to the Mesolithic period that ran from 10000 BCE until 4000 BCE. Other finds at the Thames Water sewage treatment plant have given archaeologists clues about how the land was laid out. For example, evidence of two large gateposts indicates there was an imposing entrance to the site. Pieces of a Bronze Age urn and shards of Iron Age pottery were also found, clustered in pits and ditches.
Archaeologist Dr Roy Entwhistle, who has worked on the dig, said: "We were particularly pleased to discover the Mesolithic flintwork which would have been used by hunter-gatherers to fashion tools. Finding these prehistoric collections undisturbed is rare in southern England." Duncan Coe, from the West Berkshire Museum, said: "This confirms some evidence found when the original sewage works was built in the late 40s/50s. From a time when people were hunter gatherers and the population set up temporary camps and then moved on - it is very significant for the Kennet Valley, for this site. It shows continual occupation right through to a Roman village."
The finds will go on display at the West Berkshire museum after it has been analysed and cleaned. They are set to be exhibited around August of next year.
Sources: BBC News (30 October 2006), Newbury Today (1 November 2006)
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