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5 September 2009
Cavern dig in England uncovers 15,000-year-old weapon

Archaeologists digging at Kents Cavern (Devon England) have found a 15,000-year-old weapon carved from a reindeer antler. The rare sagaie, or javelin point, was crafted by a stone age inhabitant of the caves and is the only complete example of its kind found in the UK. It is being hailed by the tourist attraction as major find and a signal that further exciting artifacts could lie just below the surface.
     Dr Paul Pettitt, director of the archaeological dig, said: "This sagaie, made of antler, most probably reindeer, functioned as a spear or javelin point. This form of weapon was common on the continent around the time of the late Paleolithic, the Magdalenian, and used by hunter-gatherers about 14,000 to 15,000 years ago."
     The find was made on the first day of an archeological dig aiming to find evidence of Neanderthal or early human occupation at the caves. The caves are the oldest known dwellings in the UK but there has not been a major dig at the site for more than 80 years.
     Archaeologists also hope to learn more about the origins of Kents Cavern's use as a human shelter, and establish firm dates for the first occupation of the cave by Neanderthals and early members of our own species. The dig will continue until September 10, and can be viewed as part of the cavern tour.

Source: Herald Express (2 September 2009)

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