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15 January 2018
Ice Age artefacts found in northern England

Volunteers in the small town of Thornton-le-Street, about 300 kilometres north-northwest of London, have found more than 2,500 artefacts - many dating from the last Ice Age. Another major dig will happen between ythe 21st of May and the 1st of June, in a partnership between the Thornton-le-Street History group and archaeology company Solstice Heritage. The project which will continue until November.
     History group secretary Anne Stockdale says the village is part of a rich archaeological and historical landscape: "People have lived in the surrounding area since the last Ice Age - one of the major arteries of Roman Yorkshire passed through or close by the village - and the scheduled earthworks of medieval Thornton-le-Street can still be seen around the modern houses. We have been astonished at the sheer number of objects we have found - over 1,200 in one field area alone - and by the amount of flint and by the lack of metal finds."
     Over the summer 12 test pits were dug in gardens and on open space around the community - home to fewer than 100 people - to find out more about the medieval village, and a large trench was opened in one garden to uncover the remains of road front medieval properties and to see if a Roman road had also run along it.
     A geophysical survey was also done, and volunteers have been working with the North Yorkshire county records office examining archives.
     Saturday, February 10 from 10am to 3pm the public are invited to an Open Day of free displays and talks on some of the artefacts at Thornton-le-Street Village Hall, with experts on hand to answer questions. Further information on the project and volunteer opportunities can be found at https://roadstothepast2018launch.eventbrite.co.uk/ and http://www.thorntonlestreetbigdig.com/

Edited from The Northern Echo (12 January 2018)

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