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1 August 2009
3,000-year-old ax found by an 8-year-old child in Maryland

A strangely-shaped rock that 8-year-old Heather Flaherty of Crownsville (Maryland, USA) picked up in her backyard turned out to be an ancient ax. Heather found the stone implement July 8 near the chicken coops behind her family's home. "I was just lookin' and walkin', I just looked and there it was," she said.
     The stone is about as long as an adult hand, and nearly as wide, with shallow indentations cut around the base for a strap. Heather calls it an arrowhead because of its shape, but county archeologist Al Luckenbach of Annapolis described it as a fully-grooved ax from the Late Archaic or Early Woodland period. "It's of course hard to date all by itself," Al said. "Late Archaic is about 2500 to 1000 BCE and Early Woodland is 1000 to 500 BCE" Looking at a picture, Al guessed that the ax had been made from greenstone from Frederick County by someone who lived in Maryland long before the Algonquian Indian tribe moved in around 200 CE. "It's not that unusual, but it's always very nice to find a whole ax; it's a big moment in any artifactor's life to find a whole stone," he said.
     Al offered simple advice for caring for her find. "All you have to do wash it with a little soap and water and don't drop it," he said. And of course, if she felt philanthropic, Al said her discovery would be welcome at the archeology society's lab at London Town in Edgewater.

Sources: The Capital, Hometownannapolis.com (24 July 2009)

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