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10 December 2006
Neolithic stone axe head found by a dog

A dog proved to be a canine Indiana Jones by finding a stone axe head dating back thousands of years in Aberdeenshire (Scotland). Rowan the inquisitive black labrador unearthed the Neolithic find at the Drum Estate. She dropped it on owner Alec Gordon's foot and he took it for examination, with early analysis estimating it as perhaps 6,000 years old.
     Mr Gordon was on a woodland walk with his dogs when Rowan made the unusual find. "I was walking through the wood and we arrived at a spot where we normally stop. One of them dropped a stone which she'd been carrying. I took it back to Drum Castle and saw it had edges. I gave it to the local National Trust for Scotland (NTS) archaeologist who almost immediately confirmed that it was Neolithic, 4-6,000 years old, and pretty special," he said.
     Shannon Fraser, regional archaeologist for NTS in the north east of Scotland, said: "I think it's really exciting because we have not had finds from Drum Estate from this period." She said of Rowan: "I think she should become my honorary assistant." Mr Duncan said of his dog: "I wonder if she knew it was something special because when she dropped it she dropped it on my foot. It's not every day you get an axe dropped on your foot."

Source: BBC News (7 December 2006)

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