Friday, January 27, 2006

Irish School Girl Makes a Discovery

Last summer nine year old Laoise Mangan was walking in her school yard, St. Brigid's National School in Greystones, County Wicklow, Ireland, when she spotted an odd looking stone. She brought it to her teacher, Martin Dodd. By chance, Mr. Dodd had a degree in archaeology. He sent the stone to an acquaintance, Dr. Muiris O'Sullivan, at a nearby University and lo and behold the stone has been dated to the late Neolithic or early Bronze Age (2000 BCE). It was probably used as a tool for scraping meat from animal hides.

If she had brought the stone to any other teacher at St. Brigid's, it probably would have been thrown away. The only problem, according to Mary Beausang, a teacher at the school, "Now we have dozens of pupils bringing stones in from the yard to Mr. Dodd for examination...and we will always check with him before we ask them them to put them back in the yard."

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