Wednesday, September 14, 2005


I was delighted to see a report that the discovery of a Mesolithic site at a Bletchingley (Surrey) farm is "one of the most important archaeological finds in years." Shrouded by hoods and umbrellas, archaeologists guided a group of reporters around what appeared to be little more than a barren sandpit. The dig is in its early stages so there wasn't much to see.

It reminds me of the day when I was leading an archaeological-minded group in Wales. We visited what was also called a Mesolithic site -- Trwyn Du -- on the island of Anglesey in Northern Wales. It reportedly had a flint workshop dated to 6800 BC. I was very excited to spot the few what looked to the rest of my travelers like inconsequential stones that I knew must have been foundations. I oohed and ahhed as we walked about the little promontory, now lapped by the sea. In fact, the tide was coming in and some of the group were nervous that we might get cut off from our van. I explained with great enthusiasm how almost 9,000 years ago it was a good look-out on a hill about a mile from the sea. My companions were amused at my excitement. "We can't imagine," said one good friend, "what you do when you visit the Acropolis!"


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