Rare 4,500 year old axe turns up at event in Lowestoft

Two people sitting at table holding finds

Featured image: copyright Mick Howes

Roman coins and a flint axe, discovered in Suffolk by members of the public, were the star finds at a recent archaeology event.

The event, hosted by the Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service at Lowestoft Library on 25 March 2022, saw dozens of local residents bring their discoveries to find out more about them.

Anna Booth, Finds Recording Officer with the Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service, said:

“We’ve seen a real assortment of archaeological items today, but the star find is a knapped stone axe from the late Neolithic period found in North Suffolk. The flint axe dates from 2700 BC – 2300 BC. It is not a common find.”

Other items presented to experts included Roman coins, Medieval silver hammered coins and a medieval harness pendant typically worn while a knight was riding his horse. The pendant would have displayed the Lord’s Coat of Arms, and dates from Mid 13th to Mid 15th century.

Anna explains what happens to the items that are brought in by the public:

“With the finder’s permission I take the items back to the office and add them to a national database and to the Suffolk Historical Environment Record. The item is then returned to the finder with a description of what the item is and its age. The exception to this is if the item is declared as treasure, then it must go to the County Coroner.”

The finds are recorded on to the publicly available Portable Antiquities Scheme national database which lists all the finds in Suffolk and around the UK: www.finds.org.uk/database. The Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service is partially funded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme which is part of the British Museum.

Councillor Melanie Vigo di Gallidoro, Suffolk County Council’s deputy cabinet member responsible for archaeology and protected landscapes, said:

“It is amazing to see what has been found by local residents. There is so much out there and no doubt still masses of things to find, to tell us more about our history and the people that lived in Suffolk.

“This is why it is important that we record and archive Suffolk’s past, especially as we live in a part of the country which has such a rich history. I’d invite any members of the public, who think they’ve found an archaeological object or potential treasure, to get in touch.”

Similar events will be held at around Suffolk in the coming months, and members of the public are always welcome to contact the Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service if they think they have found an archaeological object – details can be found at heritage.suffolk.gov.uk

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