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31 March 2011
'Funny shaped stone' was Stone Age axe head

A 'funny shaped stone' that had been used as an ornament, turned out to be a 5,000 year old Stone Age axe head. The axe head had been dug up in a Norton Canes, a village in the Midlands Region of the UK, over 12 years ago. Its true origin was not discovered until it was taken to a meeting of the local Historical Society and Family History Group, where is was identified by Roger Knowles, who is a member of the Council for British Archaeologists. He is quoted as saying "It is a Neolithic Hafted Stone Axe that would have been bound to a wooden haft with rawhide strips". He went on to say "The British Museum are confident that it is made of Cumbrian Tuff from the Lake District (Northern UK) and that it was made locally."
     The elation of the discovery, however, was short lived, as the area where it was found is about to disappear under a proposed housing development. The village of Norton Canes is Saxon in origin but the archaeology pre-dates this period and there are four sites of specific interest, all of which lie within the boundary of the proposed development. The area has the potential to be rich in artifacts as it had lain undisturbed, as farm land, for over a thousand years.

Edited from Cannock Chase Post (23 March 2011)

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