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Archaeologists find rare tool on building site in Moreton
8:00am Thursday 1st December 2011 in Cotswolds
A RARE and ancient tool found on a building site in Moreton is said to a “significant find” for the town according to experts.
Cotswold Archaeology made the exciting discovering earlier this month while carrying out an excavation on the Fire Service College housing development.
The flint hand axe, thought to have been used primarily for butchering large animals, is the second of its kind to be found in Moreton in eight years.
Neil Holbrooke, chief executive at Cotswold Archaeology, said the artefact could be up to 100,000 years old.
He said: “It’s a significant find for Moreton. These things are not common. They’re really old – before the last ice age. There used to be a huge lake covering the whole of Warwickshire and up to Leicestershire. Geologists call it Lake Harrison.
“Moreton would have been near its southern shore. Neanderthals used to camp and hunt there. It’s really exciting. It’s one of the earliest discoveries we have made in 25 years of digging around in the Cotswolds.
“It’s a really nice piece that’s sits well in your hand. It shows someone took a lot of care. It’s quite sophisticated.
“We were doing an archaeological dig. We just found it.
An eagle-eyed guy spotted it.
He was very excited. He knew straight away what it was. It’s what gives us archaeologists a buzz.”
Mr Holbrooke added he hoped the axe would go on display in the Corinium Museum in Cirencester.
Hand axes were said to be first used 1.8 million years ago and were used like a Swiss army knife of the Stone Age.
They evolved from roughly shaped specimens to highly worked, symmetrical tools which could also have been used for a variety of tasks from hide or wood-working to plant processing.