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10 May 2009
Mesolithic tool unearthed by 9-year-old schoolboy

Prehistoric flint tools were a surprise discovery at an archaeological dig run by TV presenter Julian Richards at a school in Shaftesbury (Dorset, England). Three trenches were dug in fields next to St James's Church, adjacent to Abbey Primary School and every pupil was allowed to visit them during the course of last week. Mr Richards, a Shaftesbury resident and mainstay of the hit TV programme Meet The Ancestors, was surprised and delighted when the children's diligent digging unearthed a mesolithic stone tool. He said: "We think there were medieval dwellings here and we were expecting to find a lot of old pottery, but we were not expecting to find stone tools such as this. The flint that was found is a blade that has been worked by a very skilled flintworker and is at least 6,000 years old. Another smaller one was found in the same trench later that afternoon, which is very exciting for me as I am obsessed with our prehistoric ancestors."
     The discovery was made by Tammy Pike, aged nine. The tool will either be kept at the school or donated to Gold Hill Musuem. The project was the brainchild of Claire Ryley, an education volunteer from Shaftesbury Museum who won funding for the project from the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council for the South West.

Source: This is Western Gazette.co.uk (8 May 2009)

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