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Last Updated: Monday, 1 September, 2003, 19:06 GMT 20:06 UK
'Ancient' stone is modern art
Gorleston Stone markings
The markings on the stone were made in 1995 by an artist
An "ancient" relic which had excited experts with its strange markings has been revealed as a modern work of art.

The Gorleston Stone, named after the Norfolk sea-side town were it was found, was thought to be thousands of years old - dating back to new stone age or early bronze age.

But the two-ton stone, which is engraved with swirls, dragons and runic inscriptions, was really made in 1995.

Stone artist Barry Luxton, created the piece which has since been removed from Gorleston beach and is being examined by experts at Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

Mr Luxton said he never intended to deceive anyone with the stone.

'Very odd indeed'

"What I wanted to do was to make this as a new age rather than an old age thing to do," he said.

"The fire dragon was my conception, then I put on some runic engravings about the celebration of fire."

Mr Luxton has pictures of himself as he carried out the work on the stone which formed part of the sea defences at Gorleston.

However, the Gorleston Stone did not fool Norfolk's county archaeologist Brian Ayers who said the markings were very strange.

He said the fact there were swirling patterns in the centre, runic inscriptions below and swirls on the top of the stone did not add up.

"To put these three things together on one stone is very odd indeed," he said.

Mr Luxton is hoping to get his work back from the council.

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