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21 February 2004
3500-year-old axehead discovered on the Isle of Wight

Harvey Jones, of Cranleigh Gardens, Northwood, was walking boisterous Dexter - a two-year-old labrador - on Bembridge Down (Isle of Wight, England) when he ran off into a massive gorse bush, dragging Mr Jones along with him. A Bronze Age axe head was lying on the top of a rabbit hole in the middle of the bush - catching the eye of Mr Jones, who said: "It was only thanks to Dexter that I actually saw it. When I picked up the axe head it was in perfect condition and looked almost brand new, like someone had dropped it there yesterday."
     Mr Jones took his find to Frank Basford, of the IW Archaeology and Historic Environment Service. He concluded the axe head was a looped palstave dating to the middle Bronze Age, from 1500 BCE to 1200 BCE, and that it had an unusual design on the metal with four lines carved into the bronze, making it unlike any others found on the Island. Mr Basford said: "Quite a number of looped palstaves have been found but this is the first of this particular type found here and it is in great condition."
     After conservation work has been done on the palstave, it will take pride of place at the Guildhall Museum in Newport.

Source: Isle of Wight County Press (20 February 2004)

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