|10 April 2004
Stone Age finds are unearthed in garden
An archaeological dig in the gardens of Coombe End House nursing home in London Road, Marlborough (England), has revealed exciting Stone Age finds that could cause the plans for the site to be modified. Experts unearthed a bucket full of flint chippings showing that Stone Age tools were fashioned on the site.
County archaeologists called in Wessex Archaeology to carry out test digs to see if the site contained any interesting historical remains. Mark Roberts, project manager, said there had been important archaeological finds previously in the area, notably the Marlborough bucket, a leather bucket dating from the Iron Age, which was found in nearby St Margarets Mead in 1807.
Although the dig revealed no trace of Roman or medieval remains, the team were delighted to find evidence that Stone Age man had camped in the area. Mr Roberts said: There are only 12 other sites in the Kennet Valley where this sort of material has been found." He said that despite being very old and fragile, the flint chippings that were found at a depth of about 80cm were in good condition. Mr Roberts said that when the flints were fashioned as tools, implements and weapons between 11,000 and 12,000 years ago, the London Road area would have been a wooded valley.
The flint chippings that were found in the Marlborough excavation revealed no clues as to what tools or weapons the Stone Age people would have been fashioning. Mr Roberts said that although there are no deposits of flint in the immediate area of Coombe End, they could have been found higher up the valley in the chalk outcrops.
The flint chippings have been sent to the Wessex Archaeology unit at Salisbury. They will now be examined more closely by Phil Harding, the TV's Time Team star, a member of the Wessex unit, who has been involved in listing all Palaeolithic sites in Britain.
Sources: Marlborough News, Wiltshire Gazette & Herald (8 April 2004)
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