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23 January 2005
The return of the Bronze Age dagger

A Bronze Age dagger has been returned to the town that it has called home since about 1400 BCE. The prehistoric weapon was unearthed during the excavation of Testwood Lakes in Totton (Hampshire, England) nearly a decade ago. The foot-long dagger was donated to the Totton and Eling Heritage Centre as their main exhibit when it opened in 1996. It left the town on loan to the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum where it was on display celebrating the 25th anniversary of Wessex Archaeology for most of last year.
     Staff uncovered the dagger, which is one of their most major finds, when they were commissioned by Southern Water to excavate the area so that the reservoir there could be widened. David Blackwell-Eaton, manager of the heritage centre, said: "We are extremely pleased to have it returning. It's quite an important and very impressive find. It's by far the single most important exhibit we have. Not a great deal of archaeology has been done around the Totton area and to have something of this standard on display in a little place like Totton is very lucky."
     A Bronze Age bridge was unearthed during the excavation and the dagger was found among the timber remains. "These kind of items were expensive so it would had to have belonged to a noble or warrior," added Mr Blackwell-Eaton. A copy of the weapon was made before it went back on display to be kept at the Interpretation Centre at Testwood Lakes.

Source: This is Southampton (22 January 2005)

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