Amateur archaeologist discovers stone age weapons

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Sydney, Mar 10 (UNI) The weapons used by the Norfolk men of the stone age have been spotted by an amateur archaeologist in North Sea.

The weapons were found by an amateur enthusiast, Jan Meulmeester, who regularly hunts through the marine sand and gravel dredged near his home in Flushing, in the south-western Netherlands.

The 28 finely worked hand axes are believed to be more than 100,000 years old - possibly far older - and were described yesterday by archaeologist Phil Harding as "the single most important find of ice age material from below the North Sea" as saying in The Guardian.

If the dating is correct - and it may be established by the fragments of bone and tooth found in the same load of gravel - the people who worked them by chipping away flakes of stone to leave a blade as sharp as a modern kitchen knife were probably Neanderthal, not Homo sapiens The lower sea level at the time, with huge volumes of water locked up in the ice age polar ice caps, meant that the area the tools were dredged from, eight miles off Great Yarmouth and under 25 metres of seawater, was then dry land, and Britain was not yet an island.

English Heritage archaeologists are now joining their counterparts in the Netherlands to study the find. What is exciting the experts this time is that the fact that the axes were dredged up with a quantity of silt means they have probably been lying buried in mud exactly where they were dropped so many millennia ago.

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