Page last updated at 21:08 GMT, Monday, 29 June 2009 22:08 UK

Fossil hunt finds ancient paddle

Bronze Age paddle
A team from Kent RIGS helped excavate the find

A piece of wood found by visitors at a fossil workshop in Kent is believed to be a Bronze Age paddle.

The artefact, thought to be 3,000 years old, was found during the annual fossil hunt organised by Wildwood wildlife conservation park near Canterbury.

An "eagle-eyed individual" spotted the wood sticking out of mud in the Bronze Age sediment near Swalecliffe.

The Wildwood Trust said the paddle was in a container of water until the county conservator could examine it.

Anne Riddell, head of education at Wildwood, said: "These events are always popular and people always find something of interest, but to find something like this is fantastic and really exciting for the people who had come on the fossil hunt."

A team from Kent Regionally Important Geological Sites Group (RIGS), which co-hosted the event, helped excavate the find.

Another person then discovered a section of the opposite end of the paddle a short distance away.

A spokesperson for Wildwood said there were only thought to have been about six other paddles of its type found in the UK.

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