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  Underwater settlement shocks scientists
Updated 12 September 2003, 12.49

Flint arrowhead
The team found tools and arrowheads
Archaeologists have accidentally found the first underwater evidence of Stone Age settlements in Britain.

A team of scuba-diving scientists from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne was practising for other dive searches when they found flint tools and arrowheads.

Two sites were found off the coast near Tynemouth, and the oldest could be 10,000 years old.

Map of Northumberland
Stunning

Team leader Dr Penny Spikins said: "It was a totally stunning find, because we hadn't really started the project."

The settlements were on land originally, but were flooded when the sea rose at the end of the last Ice Age.

They are thought to be from the Mesolithic period, which took place between and 5-10,000 years ago.

No other Stone Age artefacts have been found underwater in Britain.

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