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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 September 2005, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
Flint remains show Stone Age life
Archaeological finds
The exact location of flint found on the North Downs is being plotted
A Stone Age settlement uncovered in the North Downs is being hailed as an important archaeological find.

The site at Bletchingly, Surrey, is undisturbed and could show where people gathered in Mesolithic dwellings.

Archaeologist Becky Lambert said: "We are plotting the exact location of the flint, so we might even be able to see patterns of where people were sitting."

Flint is often found during ploughing - this undisturbed site may reveal hearths and where food was made.

Archaeological find
Mesolithic hunters chiselled tools and weapons out of flint

Ms Lambert added: "It is very exciting to think that people would have actually been sitting where we are, possibly crouched down like this, actually making tools."

Archaeologists at the North Park Farm site, which is within a mile of the M25, have found more than 1,000 finds ranging from shards to complete axes and entire pots.

The Mesolithic era - also known as the Middle Stone Age - began in about 8000BC when the last Ice Age ended.

It lasted until 4000BC which is when the Neolithic era - which saw the building of Stonehenge - started.

Items have also been found from the Iron Age, Bronze Age and the Middle Ages.

Even the remains of cooked meals and campfires have been found.

The site was found after a mineral company applied for planning permission to quarry in the area and an archaeological investigation was carried out.

It is thought the remains remained undisturbed because they were buried deep enough beneath the soil to be out of the reach of farming machinery.

Organisations involved in the dig include English Heritage, Royal Holloway London University, Surrey County Archaeological Unit and WBB Minerals.

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